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December 2009 - January 2010

Political News

Traditional healthcare system a solution for “bottom of the pyramid” says Sam Pitroda

by Rita Payne

Indian healthcare system has showed a remarkable improvement over the years with remarkable improvements in some of the important healthcare indices. But there are bigger challenges ahead, including the vital one of taking improved healthcare facilities to the masses. For a comprehensive solution to our healthcare shortcomings, we need to adopt the traditional Indian model in the healthcare system, said Mr Sam Pitroda, Chairman of the National Knowledge Commission, Government of India, at a health summit organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) here today.

In his keynote address at the two-day 6th India Health Summit ‘Taking Quality Healthcare to the Masses’, Pitroda proposed a ten-point agenda to reach out to the ‘bottom of the pyramid’, and defended the need for adopting the traditional healthcare system for the masses, saying the Western method of healthcare reaches only the ‘top of the pyramid’.

While stressing the need to form healthcare communication and healthcare education, and research facilities related to health, Pitroda said the key is to lay out a plan to implement the target.

Pitroda also called for setting up working groups at state levels, particularly at district levels, to ensure wider reach of healthcare facilities. ”If we do not have a plan ready for the state and district levels, we can expect little success in this regard,” he maintained.

During his speech, Mr Pitroda also said that the government is prepared to collaborate but, more importantly, we need a viable plan.

There is a lot of potential in the sector, but it’s time we needed a comprehensive approach in taking quality and affordable healthcare facilities to the grassroots level, he added.

Earlier, in his special address, Dr Prathap C Reddy, chairman of the CII National Committee on Healthcare, and chairman of the Apollo Hospitals Group, called for the need to accelerate momentum for allowing access to the masses. He also stressed the need for building newer healthcare solutions for a better tomorrow.

Addressing the summit, Mr Bhavdeep Singh, Chairman of the 6th Health Summit, and CEO of Fortis Healthcare Limited, said there is a call for action to meet the requirement of healthcare facilities.

He called for the need to enhance technology to catalyze the growth and reach, better accountability, preventive rather than curative approach.

In his concluding remarks, Mr Tejpal Chopra, Co-chairman of the 6th Health Summit, and President and CEO of GE India, said the healthcare industry’s growth is very critical for India. He even called for a collaborative approach to find a solution for the bottom of the pyramid.

Earlier in his welcome address, Mr Chandrajit Banerjee, Director General, CII, outlined CII’s agenda on healthcare including public health, healthcare services and delivery, and medical technology.

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