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Ayushman Bharat: Giant Leap Towards Universal Healthcare in India The private sector will support in terms of infrastructure and manpower and the government will help in proving space and funding

By Yogesh Mudras

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The Indian pharma industry has been acclaimed for its rapid growth in recent decades and is expected to reach the USD 100 billion by 2025. The industry clearly owes its success to its bold, ambitious approach, history of innovation and an ability to constantly adapt to the global market. However, with the country having the highest disease burden, the government has set a clear path for the future of the pharmaceutical industry and with the industry witnessing a market growth of 12.8per cent.

Government Initiative: Ayushman Bharat

The part of Pharmaceutical policy – "Medicare" is India's determined National Health Protection Scheme (NHPS) proposed in Union Budget 2018. The new scheme is touted as the 'world's largest government-funded health care programme with participation from both the Centre and state levels. The recommendation of Niti Aayog of PPP model policy will give a boost to the new national health protection scheme wherein, the private sector will support in terms of infrastructure and manpower and the government will help in proving space and funding. It is partly for measures such as these that India has taken huge strides in terms of its reputation. According to the CPhI Worldwide Annual Industry Report 2018, with a Pharma Reputation Index of more than 40 countries, India saw an increase of 10.92 per cent rise in terms of reputation. This is extremely impressive given the quality and compliance issues it had faced previously.

Medicare and Hurdles

It is evident that a lot of genuine hurdles need to be overcome for the gap between the planned vision and active realities to be narrowed. Medicare or NHPS intends to offer 100 million poor families an annual cover of INR 5 lakh each would make it the largest public health scheme. Besides, it also aims to upgrade the existing 150,000 sub-centres all across India to upgraded health and wellness centres (HWCs) providing a broader range of diagnostics and outpatient care. With health being a state subject, states already have their health schemes running whose aims are different --they cater to their entire population rather than the economically disadvantaged, aiming at a lesser amount of health cover. Of course, upgrading the sub-centres lacking in basic infrastructure or equipment is a mammoth task.

Role of Exhibition Industry

Exhibition companies are also working towards to make Ayushman Bharat a success. Today, the exhibition industry is contributing to the Indian economy by creating industry level platforms for face-to-face interaction and bringing buyers & seller under one roof to conduct business. Exhibition companies through their focused shows in healthcare and pharma industry are engaging with industry stakeholders, companies, manufacturing units and emerging start-ups to address the challenges and outline the solutions and opportunities of the domain. Through exhibitions, professionals get to parley with international counterparts to understand the latest technology and how these can be implemented in the country. Due diligence processes such as awards shine the spotlight on excellence and innovations in the nooks and corners of the country while ground-level research reports emanating from deliberations with industry experts are shared with the power corridors. All these engagements will go a long way in supporting the National Health Protection Scheme and towards building "Swasth Bharat'.

Yogesh Mudras

Managing Director, Informa Markets in India

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