The first day of the Conference, hosted by The Healthcare Alliance saw a splendid turnout of thought leaders, policy makers, senior Government officials, business and health leaders from India and across the globe.
The inaugural session witnessed the presence of personalities like Montek Singh Ahluwalia, Deputy Chairman, Planning Commission of India; LovVerma, Health Secretary, Ministry of Health & Welfare, Government of India; Prof K Srinath Reddy, President Public Health Foundation of India; Lord Nigel Crisp, Crossbench member, House of Lords and DrPrathap C Reddy, Chair of The Healthcare Alliance and Chairman of Apollo Hospitals Group, all of whom delivered a special address to the audiences.
With participation from over 15 countries and the presence of more than 500 delegates, the power-packed, morning-to-evening agenda focused on three critical issues facing the healthcare industry worldwide:
Delivering his special address at the formal inauguration of the conference, Dr. Prathap C. Reddy, Chair of The Healthcare Alliance and Chairman of Apollo Hospitals Group, said ""Amazing progress has been made in healthcare over the last 30 years, yet barriers of accessibility, quality and cost persist. New challenges have risen such as the worrying ascent of NCDs, which claim 36 million lives every year in the world, with nearly 80% of these deaths occurring in low and middle income countries. The need of the hour is four-fold: preventive healthcare, making people partners in PPP, up-scaling and up-skilling the manpower , accelerating the pace of innovation. This Conference provides a common platform for collective thinking for stakeholders of the nation and global thought leaders to come up with an agenda for the future. We have to work towards the dream of a disease-free world. This is the big challenge for the future of healthcare.""
The Conference began with opening remarks by Ms.Sangita Reddy, Executive Director, Apollo Hospitals Group, who warmly welcomed the guests. She expressed hope that the deliberations and sessions over two days of the event would result in concrete recommendations to shape the future of healthcare not only in India but also in other countries facing similar demographic and economic challenges.
A prominent highlight of the day was the launch of three White Papers by global consultancies Bain & Company, PwC and KPMG, each focused on a specific area of the conference highlighted by the sessions. The White Papers are a result of over three months of collaboration between members of The Healthcare Alliance and thought leaders from around the world to arrive at global solutions that are systemic, sustainable and impactful. Each paper looks into a definitive way forward and an action plan to impact the future of healthcare in the 21st century.
Plenary Session 1: Control of NCDs through Primary and Preventive Healthcare
Ms.ShobanaKamineni, Executive Director (New Initiatives), Apollo Hospitals Group, set the context for the plenary session on ""Control of NCDs through Primary and Preventive Healthcare"" which was followed by the keynote address by Prof K Srinath Reddy, President, Public Health Foundation of India. The insightful panel discussion saw several significant stakeholders as participants, including Anshu Prakash, Principal Secretary (Health & Family Welfare), Government of India; Planning Commission member Syeda Hameed; John Brooks, President & CEO, Joslin Diabetes Center; Dr V. Mohan, Chairman & Chief of Diabetology, Dr. Mohan's Diabetes Specialty Centre, and; ShaileshAyyangar, MD & President, Sanofi India. The session was moderated by Karan Singh, Bain & Company's Asia-Pacific Healthcare practice head.
The main take-away from the discussion: With NCDs snatching away precious lives, a population equal to the size of a nation like Canada, each year across the world, this is a threat that can no longer be ignored. The solution lies in strengthening primary care for early detection and popularizing preventive care to bring down the incidence.
Panelists recommended high-impact interventions and large-scale outreach throughout the country, articulation of a national vision for combating NCDs and partnering with community service organizations for creating better awareness. They also called upon the health service providers to expand their reach, deliver high quality but affordable care, address the demand for information and specially trained professionals. Pharmaceutical and medical technology companies need to develop and deploy an integrated approach to providing cost-effective medical products and work with policy makers to make affordable medicines available, the panelists recommended.
Plenary Session 2: Public-Private-People Partnerships
The panelists at the session on Public-Private-People Partnerships (PPPP) were unanimous about the importance of including people as partners in the existing PPP model to make it more effective and inclusive. They noted that global healthcare systems are increasingly coming under stress due to rising costs. India too needs huge investments to bring its healthcare infrastructure to international levels of penetration.
Even as PPPs are becoming popular for service delivery, it is essential to consider people as a critical part of the health ecosystem, the participants concluded in a free-wheeling discussion moderated by Rana Mehta, Leader - Healthcare, PwC India. Chandrajit Banerjee, Director General, Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), set the context for the discussions that revolved around the ingredients required to deliver successful healthcare PPPs. Dr Paul Da Rita, Head, Global Health PPP Advisory, International Finance Corporation, delivered the keynote address.
Panelists recommended that the Government develop a health PPP policy framework, create an institutional mechanism to support health PPPs, ensure contractual flexibility and continued sharing of risks and rewards, devise an appropriate pricing and incentive mechanism to improve quality, affordability and viability, and benchmark best practices.
Other action points from the panelists included the need for providers to evolve business models with fair margin and high volumes, collaborate with the Government in developing a policy framework, benchmark their own performance, and develop strategies for human resource augmentation. The participants also came up with specific recommendations for the community and citizens at large.
Plenary Session 3: Talent Fast-forward: Upskill, Upscale
The keynote address by Lord Nigel Crisp, Crossbench member, House of Lords, kick-started the session titled ""Talent fast-forward: Upskill, Upscale,"" with the context being set by RajendraPawar, Chairman, NIIT. The acute dearth of adequately educated or trained healthcare professionals was deeply felt by the panelists, who pointed out that this issue is limiting access and quality of healthcare services in India. They deliberated upon the challenge of ensuring sufficient supply of manpower for expansion of healthcare to all corners of the country and came up with many interesting ideas that showed the most practical way forward.
The Government being the strongest influencer among all the stakeholders, the panelists recommended that it should ensure standardization across key elements of talent development, put together a policy framework to minimize entry barriers, and lay down regulations for up-skilling. They were of the view that healthcare trainers also need to redesign training structure and introduce innovations in training, while healthcare providers should restructure HR processes to comply with accreditation guidelines and collaborate with other stakeholders to achieve workforce outcomes.
The Conference also included a lively conversation on the theme ""The Where, What and How - for the Future of Healthcare"" facilitated by Dr. AnupamSibal, Group Medical Director, Apollo Hospitals, along with Dr. John Adler, Inventor CyberKnife and Chief of new Clinical Applications, Varian, Dr. Rajiv Doshi, Executive Director, Stanford-India Biodesign, and Dr. Euan Thomson, Operating Partner, Khosla Ventures.
Even as Day 1 drew to a close, all eyes are set on Day 2 of the Conference which will see special addresses by the health ministers of various countries, including Botswana, Maldives, Mongolia, Mozambique and Sri Lanka, followed by a session on the role of innovation in achieving universal access to healthcare. In the final session, also one of the biggest in the two-day event, the world health sector will witness heads of Apollo Hospitals, Fortis Healthcare, Medicity, Narayana Hrudayalaya, Stanford Hospital and Clinics along with the World Health Organisation outline their vision of The Future of Healthcare for India and the world.
Recommendations arising from the deliberations at the Conference will be presented to Shri Pranab Mukherjee, The Hon'ble President of India, and Shri Ghulam Nabi Azad, Minister of Health & Family Welfare, Government of India, on March 4, 2014, the second and final day of the event.