3rd AmCham Healthcare Conference held at Hyderabad
Dr. Balaji Utla, CEO, Piramal Swasthya addressed the conference held at Hyderabad on September 19, 2015. The theme of the conference was “Improving Healthcare Access to Reduce Disease Burden in India”.
Healthcare has become one of India’s largest sectors – both in terms of revenue and employment. Although, the country’s healthcare industry is projected to continue its rapid expansion, increased population growth in India’s low-income communities has resulted in a lack of affordable and easily accessible quality healthcare for millions of people.
Excerpts from Dr. Balaji
1. Dr. Balaji spoke about how we can leverage innovations and make them work in a country as diverse as India.
2. He also elaborated on the work done by Piramal Swasthya in 12 states in the last 8 years and how we are looking to expand our work to other states.
3. Dr. Balaji talked about how non-communicable diseases like hypertension and diabetes will be a bigger burden in the coming years, even in the rural areas, and how they need to be addressed.
4.He said that creativity or innovation lies at the cusp of paradoxes, which is when opposing situations exist.
5. There are key challenges and contradictions to be resolved, like 60% of hospital beds are in the urban areas, while 70% people are in the rural areas.
6. Affordability is an issue and availability is also an issue in healthcare. India spends Rs. 300,000 crores per annum on healthcare, of which the government pays less than a third. Rest of the amount people pay from their pockets. Similarly, the no. of functioning PHCs is very limited compared to the requirement. Dr. Balaji gave the example of the PSMRI Digwal centre where 100 to 120 patients visit daily, while in the PHC next door, hardly 10 patients can be seen.
7. Dr. Balaji spoke about how mobility and technology are core concerns in innovation.
8. Dr. Balaji also talked about how innovation helped the service ambulances on the Hyderabad – Vijayawada highway to reduce mortality by 35%. By modifying the ambulance to have two stretchers in each ambulance, they were able to cater to more injured patients during accidents.
9. Innovation is all about business models as much as innovation on products.
10. Dr. Balaji concluded by speaking about ABCDE; To create Access and Affordability, innovate on BusinessModels, focus onCommunity and Cost Effectiveness, Dignity and Execution Excellence.