'Working with govt to ensure universal health coverage'

Dr Sudarshan Ballal, Chairman, Manipal Hospitals. Representative Image. File Photo

Healthcare industry body NATHEALTH on Thursday said it is working closely with the government to achieve the vision of providing universal health coverage in the country.

The body also suggested that corporate social responsibility (CSR) funds could be used to push the critical segments such as preventive health, skilling, and digital technologies.

"We are working very closely with the government because unless we work together, universal health coverage to masses is just not going to happen," NATHEALTH President and Manipal Health Enterprises Chairman Sudarshan Ballal told reporters here.

He was speaking at the 6th Annual Summit of the NATHEALTH on the theme of 'Reimagining Collaboration to Strengthen India's Healthcare Growth Trajectory'.

The government and industry need to work together to realize the Prime Minister's vision of Health for All, he added.

Ballal also said that for transparency and ethical practices in the healthcare sector "we believe that we should have a code of ethics. Indian Medical Association (IMA), Ficci and many others have worked on this and we at NATHEALTH would like to facilitate so that the code of ethics is followed".

He also said that NATHEALTH would like to make India as a 'healthcare destination of the world'.

NATHEALTH Senior Vice President and Apollo Hospitals Group Vice Chairperson Preetha Reddy said: "Healthcare today is at an inflection point".

Both, the government and private sector have to work together to ensure that healthcare is accessible to the entire population of the country, she added.

More than anything else, "we need a world-class brand for India and for that, we have to give high-quality good outcomes so that the rest of the world looks at India. There is a potential for people from other countries to come to India for healthcare, we just have to do more about it," Reddy said.

The importance of building trust between investors, policymakers and people seeking care - whether from India or from outside - cannot be undermined, she added.

The industry body also said it is willing to pool industry CSR and work with the government and development sector partners to test innovative delivery models and create replicable pathways for scale.

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