BioSpectrum India Magazine November issue BioSpectrum India Magazine - Page 40

40 BIOTalk BioSpectrum | November 2017 | www.biospectrumindia.com that there is almost equal stress level both in rural and urban India. The lifestyle now is fairly common in rural as well as urban India. The challenge in rural India is that accessibility to healthcare is less. So in such a case private sector and government both need to work together. How GST is impacting or going to impact the preventive healthcare in India? 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. Indus Health Plus is doing a programme at Varanasi where we are partnering with Dr Lal Path Labs and the National Rural Health Mission which runs the Primary Healthcare Centres (PHCs). Under this programme, we are focussing on the people coming to PHCs and not the patients who are coming to PHCs. We are focussing on every person coming along with the patient by taking there simple blood tests, checking them for sugar, cholesterol and other very basic tests and simple screening. Out of this we are collating a report and sending them to our data centres in Pune, collating the data and sending them back to national health mission server in Lucknow. Further, we also want to give personalised mobile app to all the people coming for screening so that national rural health mission at Lucknow can send messages across India like messages for maternal mortality, polio programmes in addition to NCDs. There has to be focussed programmes both at urban level and at rural level. Taking Maharashtra as example, the government of Maharashtra health department comes with a statistics saying that 55% people in rural Maharashtra are suffering from hypertension and surprisingly 54% in Urban Maharashtra. This shows Since healthcare services are exempted from GST, we cannot get the benefit of input credit. Input costs have gone up with increase in the cost of various equipment suppliers and devices. Now if the input cost has gone up, where will the burden be recovered from? We cannot charge the extra to customer as we are not allowed to charge the GST to customer. There is going to be an impact in short term but in the long term hopefully this should balance out. If some form of taxation comes around 5% on healthcare, we can take the benefit of input cost and then the cost can be kept at the reasonable level. For the first time National Heath Policy is talking about the preventive healthcare and wellness. Your view on the same? That’s a very good initiative. 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. At the ground level, I would certainly want a wish list from the government which is percentage spending in GDP. The realistic current spending on ground is somewhere around 1.25% to 1.3% of GDP. It needs to at least reach to 5%-6% of GDP before the end of tenure of this government. That will make a significant impact on ground. Primary healthcare centres need to be strengthened, equipment need to be bought there, facilities need to be provided, doctors need to be positioned there and conducive environment need to be created in the healthcare centres so that people can access the primary healthcare properly reducing the burden on tertiary healthcare or urban centres. Right now there is trust deficit; private sector doesn’t trust the government and vice-verse. So if everybody works together, there can definitely be a win-win programme on ground level which will really benefit the people of the country. Kalyani Sharma kalyani.sharma@mmactiv.com