Prof SP Singh Baghel highlighted Ayushman Bharat's role in providing affordable healthcare and urged FICCI to organise a consultative meeting between healthcare providers and the Health Ministry to address industry concerns.
Under the Ayushman Bharat Digital Mission (ABDM), the government, through telemedicine, is trying to provide medical coverage to citizens who cannot access affordable healthcare, said Prof SP Singh Baghel, Minister of State for Health & Family Welfare in the Government of India.
Addressing the 17th edition of ‘FICCI HEAL 2023, Prof Baghel commended the success of the Ayushman Bharat Program, noting that over INR 70,000 Cr has been utilised under the Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (PMJAY) scheme to promote affordable healthcare in India.
He mentioned that more than 1.80 Cr Ayushman cards and 2.31 Cr Ayushman Bharat Health Account (ABHA) IDs have been created to date. He further called upon FICCI to organise a consultative meeting between healthcare providers empanelled under AB-PMJAY and officials from the Health Ministry to address industry concerns and issues.
Underlining the significance of Jan Aushadhi centres, Prof Baghel emphasised the need to promote more affordable and generic medicines when prescribing to patients.
Ayushman Bharat PM-JAY, launched on September 23, 2018, has made significant strides in health, productivity, and prosperity. Through the provision of 5.5 Cr free hospitalisations, valued at INR 69,000 Cr, the scheme has played a crucial role in safeguarding the health of numerous underprivileged families while mitigating the burden of substantial healthcare expenditures.
The ABDM, introduced on September 17, 2021, is another government initiative to establish a digital highway connecting the various stakeholders within the healthcare ecosystem. Over the past two years, over 45 Cr Ayushman Bharat Health Accounts (ABHA) have been established, with over 30 Cr health records linked to these accounts. The scheme aims to harness digital technologies to fortify healthcare delivery.
Both flagship healthcare schemes share a common goal: to offer accessible, available, affordable, and scalable healthcare, thus realising the vision of Universal Health Coverage (UHC) in India.
Dr Harsh Mahajan, chair of the FICCI Health Services Committee and founder and chief Radiologist at Mahajan Imaging and Labs, said that the 'METAmorphosis' in healthcare is deeply rooted in the adoption of emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence, genomics, and precision medicine, which are revolutionising diagnosis, treatment, and healthcare management.
"These technological advancements are driving unprecedented improvements in patient care, drug discovery, and healthcare research. They demand that we consider the ethical, legal, and social implications of these advancements, and ensure that healthcare remains accessible, equitable, and compassionate," he added.
Dr Narottam Puri, advisor to FICCI Health Services and MVT Committees, principal advisor at QCI, and board member and former chairman of NABH, said, "At a time when lifestyle disorders are on a rise, technology-backed public and private affordable healthcare is the only solution to confront the new pool of diseases. The future healthcare- its service design and delivery require reimagining healthcare—making it more personal, collaborative, and integrated, enabled by digital capabilities."
During the event, the FICCI-KPMG Knowledge Paper titled 'New Age Healthcare Delivery Models in India' was released, providing insights into evolving healthcare delivery models in the country.