Health at Affordable Cost to People and at Lowest Expenditure to Government
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India is a country, where a majority of the population cannot afford the high cost of diagnosis and delayed treatment for basic health. We do not have sufficient doctors to handle such health problems.
I believe that the adoption of the recommendations below will not only deliver savings to the health portfolio, they also have the potential to incentivize investments in R&D and manufacturing facilities, increase employment and provide significant benefits to the consumers and healthcare professionals.
A Special Course with a Special Purpose
My recommendation is that we design a course for people who are already in the profession but do not have a degree to practise. The duration of the course must not be more than one year and align with the vision of National Skill development. Their job should primarily be to prescribe or dispense only Generic medicines.
This will also help in increasing employment and more people will enjoy better health.
Pharmacists be Given More Responsibility
Consultation with a pharmacist should be promoted by giving them another certification to recommend OTC products. For example, most people tend to manage their diabetes on their own. So that people can manage their life in much cost-effective manner.
Technology and Cost
The Government must relate healthcare to patient data and artificial intelligence to manage health at lower cost. The government must bring a notification to make healthcare available at a cheaper cost at private hospitals. There should be the pricing of patient care related to infra cost recovery of hospitals. Once the cost of equipment and infrastructure is recovered, the operating profit must be used in the care of general ward patients.
Online Pharmacy is the buzz of present India. More than 8 Lacs medical stores spread all over India are drawing attention and making noise by entering the online Pharmacy business. Everyone knows how Medical stores have flourished since the past 70 years in India. People were forced to accept and buy the medicines from these medical stores on their terms.
People are now accepting buying through these online pharmacies like 1mg, MyMedicineBox, Netmeds and Pharmeasy. These online players offer transparent offerings, provide information, knowledge and proper handling and off-course adopt fully tax and Govt. compliances.
My recommendation is that Govt. should first release the format of working procedures of these E-pharmacies to clear all doubts in the mind of people.
Secondly, I request our Finance Minister to offer a three year tax holiday equal to investments in infrastructure created by E-Pharmacies to enable offering of better healthcare services at affordable prices at the convenience of home care.
Further, the government should offer tax concessions if people taking care of long-term medications and post-hospital care at their home. Hospital care at Private hospitals is very expensive. The government should provide additional tax concessions of say INR 10000 to 15000 for people buying hospital type beds and equipment during home care. This will help to reduce burden and rush in hospitals and at the same time, the government will also save a huge amount.
The author of this article is Mr. Man Mohan Gupta, Mentor of MyMedicineBox.