www.biospectrumindia.com | November 2017 | BioSpectrum BIOTalk “Private sector, government need to work together to make healthcare accessible in rural India” « Harish Pillai COO, Indus Health Plus For the first time National Heath Policy is talking about the preventive healthcare and wellness. From the statement point of view, it is really a commendable thing but now it has to be translated on to the ground. Harish Pillai COO, Indus Health Plus in an interaction with BioSpectrum India talks about why preventive healthcare is the need of the hour and how it can be successful. How crucial is the role of preventive healthcare as far as Non-communicable diseases (NCDs) are concerned? If you look at Indian statistics, one in four is a cardiac patient and one in ten is a diabetic and cancer is the third largest. World Health Organisation (WHO) clearly says that one third of every cancer can be prevented if detected at the early stage. Unfortunately it is detected at the third stage or fourth stage with lot of money being spent and losing a person as well. So any form of preventive healthcare which helps to detect a disease or helps to detect the NCD condition at the early stage can be cured. If you detect a blockage at 40%, it can be cured through allopathic or ayurvedic medicine and reaching a stage of angioplasty can be easily avoided which cost a lot. If large percentage of Indian was doing pro-active exercise with some lifestyle changes, this huge burden of NCDs would definitely be coming down. We have 63 million people suffering from cardiovascular diseases in this country, 70 million from diabetes and cancer kills 8-9 lakhs people every year. These are the actual numbers (actual number of people affected) and the cost of this is even further. We are losing billions of dollars of our economy in tackling this problem. But unfortunately we don’t have a solution to this yet. Neither the government nor the private sector is able to give any solution. They both have to work together in order to give a solution which can affect the large masses of people. If you go by the IRDAI (Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India) 2014 report, there are around 30,000 hospitals in the country out of which 24,000 are there in the private sector. These hospitals are catering to curative. They are also doing service to preventive but mostly there focus would be on curative because the demand supply gap is so huge. Indus decided to go into the preventive healthcare in 2000 when one of our founder lost her father due to cancer. The family suffered for eight months and also lost the person. So that was the trigger point for starting this company. That is where our mission prevention started. Where do you think is the gap as far as preventive healthcare is concerned? I already mentioned that huge number of people in India are suffering from Cardiovascular or diabetes or cancer. The health is a state subject but funds and policies are dictated by the centre. Centre can dictate a policy but who will execute this policy on the ground? The state government will have to provide a framework and there private sector catering the 80% healthcare will have to have a big role to play in execution.