Healthcare Leaders’ Forum 2011: Creating Sustainable Leadership

  • The Healthcare Leaders’ Forum 2011 organised by eHealth magazine highlighted strategies and steps that will carry forward successful healthcare delivery in India

    By Dhirendra Pratap Singh
    Photo by Jaydeep Saha and Anil Chandhok

    eHEALTH magazine organised the Healthcare Leaders’ Forum on January 14, 2011 in New Delhi with an aim to create a pulsating platform for leaders of the healthcare industry to connect with each other, share ideas and best practices and prepare for the demands of the new era in healthcare.

    Also celebrated at the occasion was the launch of the 50th issue of eHealth magazine. Launched in November 2006, eHealth has established itself as a leading  monthly magazine on healthcare ICTs, medical technologies and applications in India as well as Asia Pacific. Celebrating the success of eHealth and marking the beginning of a new era, the 50th eHealth issue was launched by eminent dignitaries including Keshav Desiraju, Additional Secretary, Health & Family Welfare, Government of India; Dr Ajay Kumar Singla, Additional Secretary (H&FW), Govt of NCT of Delhi & CEO, Aapka Swasthya Bima Yojana; Dr Ashok Kumar, Director, Central Bureau of Health Investigation & Dy DG, Central Health Services, Government of India; Amod Kumar, MNH Project Director, IntraHealth; Dr MP Narayanan, President, Elets Technomedia and Dr Ravi Gupta, Editor-in-Chief, eHEALTH.

    Session One
    Dynamics of the Indian Healthcare Industry: Trends and Analysis

    The inaugural session of the forum focused on the key growth indicators and government’s initiatives that have paved way for a healthier future. With a projected combined annual growth rate of 16 percent and an estimated market size of US $75 billion by 2012, healthcare sector is expected to contribute as much as 8.5 percent of national GDP and employ more than 9 million people over the next couple of years. Much to the delight, growth is evident in all sectors of the  Healthcare industry and almost across all geographic regions of the country.

    Elaborating on the role of ICT in the growth and development of the healthcare sector, Keshav Desiraju, Additional Secretary, Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, Government of India stated that enormous amount of work is being done currently for IT application in health. He said, “A lot still needs to be done in health sector in India, especially use of IT in healthcare. Vast network of public health exists and we need to think about how we can improve it using IT. IT can help tackle issues of high rate of infant and maternal mortality.”

    He added, “Problem exists with health human resources in India that needs attention. The dilemma in India is there are huge differences in public and private healthcare, there is need to ponder on how to bridge the gap.

    Robust IT healthcare system with well motivated health professionals will pave the way for betterment.” It was highlighted during the session that role of IT enabled system is required to monitor the outcome of healthcare professionals in rural areas in India.

    Said Dr Ajay Kumar Singla, Additional Secretary (H&FW), Govt of NCT of Delhi & CEO, Aapka Swasthya Bima Yojana, “Lot of corruption prevails in public health sector and that’s the reality. If we aim at bringing equity, we need to tackle corruption. There is an erosion of trust in doctors; dearth of ethics prevails in health sector. We must give power to the people.” He added, “We need to strengthen the medical regulations. Private healthcare institutions are world class in India. Arvind Eye Hospital is an example of providing quality healthcare at low cost.”

    Dr Ashok Kumar, Director, Central Bureau of Health Investigation & Dy DG, Central Health Services, Government of India said, “India has the largest public sector health network in the world. Reaching the remotest corner, with package of affordable healthcare is a challenge. We need to give highest priority to managing health related information.”

    However Amod Kumar, MNH Project Director, IntraHealth was hopeful that rural areas public health services would improve due to the positive developments in the country. He said, “TV, FM Radio are helping in health related communications in rural areas. Public-Private Partnership can help government to utilise private sector strengths in healthcare programmes. Power, literacy level, drinking water situation is improving in India. Rural BPOs are increasing and business enterprises shifting to rural areas.”

    Keynote address

    Chetan Patnaik, DGM, Samsung delivered the keynote address, following the inaugural session. Focussing on the role of technology in healthcare, he said, “Samsung is a B2C company. We have set up an enterprise division, as a growth engine for the next ten years. We are developing a lot of solutions for healthcare and have launched new productivity devices. These devices have all the latest forms of communications.”

    He added, “We understand the need of the productivity and portability. Large screen of transfer and legibility of data is  important. So, we have developed the Samsung Tab, solutions for EMR and solutions for Radiology.”

    Session Two
    Private Sector’s Role in Creating Successful Healthcare Delivery Centres

    In the second session, healthcare industry leaders reflected upon the private sector’s role in changing the face of healthcare in India. The private sector has played a tremendous role in shaping the healthcare sector in India. India has a deficit of around 30 lakh hospital beds right now and in future almost 80 percent of this deficit would be fulfilled by the private sector.

    Elaborating on the need to bridge the gap between private and public healthcare, Dr Pervez Ahmed, CEO, Max Healthcare highlighted that GDP spent in healthcare is less in India compared to any other country. “Solution to bridging the gap between public and private healthcare systems lies in technology. Anybody should be able to carry information without using his suitcase and this would be a big change,”  he said.

    “Private people should come forward to improve healthcare in India. Government should give land free to private healthcare providers for hospitals. Three Ps – Population, Prevention and Perception are very important to tackle in healthcare,” said Dr Sanjeev Bagai, CEO, Batra Hospital & Research Centre.

    Dr Ajit K Nagpal, Convener Task Force on Health Sector Reforms, Govt of J&K said, “Public policy must drive the growth of healthcare sector in India. Universal access to basic healthcare forms the basis of public spending. Investment of private sector in health in India is driven by free market of economy.”

    Sharing the education sector’s role, Thumbay Moideen, President, Gulf Medical University said, “We are planning to set-up an Ayurvedic University in India and are exploring some set ups in Malaysia, Iran and Morocco, as well. Thus, we aim at having a global presence in healthcare education.”

    Vibhu Talwar, COO, Moolchand Medcity also reflected role of private sector in creating successful healthcare delivery centres. The session on private sector’s role in healthcare provided interesting food for thought.

    Session Three
    The Emergence of Accreditation in Assuring Quality Healthcare Services

    Quality is crucial when it comes to healthcare and there have been numerous instances of poor care, inadequate facilities, unnecessary interventions and insufficient information that have called for a closer look at the healthcare delivery system in our country. The emergence of accreditation and the growing need for maintaining optimum  standards is driving healthcare delivery centres to offer quality healthcare. In this session, speakers looked into the various parameters that have helped in developing quality through accreditation.

    Dr Giridhar Gyani, Chairman, Quality Council of India chaired the session and highlighted that accreditation and quality are two sides of a coin. “In healthcare delivery the level of expectation is very high. The quality that patients expect is the quality healthcare industry needs to provide.

    A healthy population is most important driver of national economy. Quality comes with care of the patients first. For ensuring quality medical care, accreditation is very important,” said Dr Uma Nambiar, CEO, SL Raheja Hospital. She added, “Accreditation is not the end point for desire of excellence, we need to drive at patient’s delight.”

    Said Dr Ankush Sabharwal, Director, Jeewan Mala Hospital, “Some form of quality assurance is necessary and accreditation leads to lowering of cost. There are mindset challenges to overcome for NABH for hospitals accreditation in India. With accreditation of Jeevan Mala Hospital not only quality has improved, but also attrition rate has come down.”

    Dr Dharminder Nagar, Managing Director, Paras Hospitals said, “A healthy population is most important driver of national economy. We need to have a benchmark of quality healthcare in India.”

    “If we adopt lean theory of quality, 18- 20% cost cut can be ensured in hospitals. We need a future vision in health care that is safe, patient centered, affordable for people,” said Surgeon Rear Admiral (Retd.) Dr VK Singh, Director – Healthcare Asia, Simpler.

    Session Four
    Transforming Healthcare with Innovations in Medical Technology and Diagnostics

    Technology plays a crucial role in both diagnostics and therapeutics. As the Indian healthcare sector is undergoing constant evolution, technology penetration is growing by the day. The last session of Healthcare Leaders’ Forum focused on the role of cutting-edge technologies in all sectors of healthcare and the various issues that plague the Indian medical
    technology sector.

    “We need to balance wish-list of healthcare industry and the want-list of the community. Management of innovation in  Healthcare sector will involve creativity, critical scientific appraisal. We need to deploy need-based deploy in healthcare sector, that is the need of the hour,” said Dr Shakti K Gupta, Medical Superintendent & HOD, Hospital Administration, AIIMS.

    Sudhir Behl, President & COO, Nova Medical Centre, advocated for more day care surgeries. Dr JS Suri, Medical Director, Dr Suri Laboratories stated that we totally lack regulations for labs; it has to come from the state.

    Dr Sanjeev Chaudhary, CEO, Super Religare Laboratories and Dr Om Manchanda, CEO, Dr Lal PathLabs highlighted the  need of regulations for effective innovations.

    Dr Sanjeev Chaudhary said, There is need of regulations for effective innovations. We totally lack regulations for labs; it  as to come from the state.”

    Dr Om Manchanda said, IT is the core in the pathology space. On both quality and service  ide, there is need of IT deployment in healthcare sector. Chain of labs requires more technologies. Challenge for us is to connect all networks at real time basis.



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