Experts for need to revamp healthcare insurance

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New Delhi, Oct 31 (UNI) Eminent healthcare professionals like Dr Prathap C Reddy, Dr Naresh Trehan and Dr Analjit Singh today called for a need to revamp the system of healthcare insurance in India, as high quality healthcare was beyond the access of millions.

Dr Trehan who is the President of the Indian Healthcare Federation (IHCF), said the biggest challenge that India faces today is how to provide healthcare at affordable prices.

Quoting a study, he said two percent of the population are forced into poverty because of healthcare expenses triggered by some catatrosphic illness.

Pointing out the inability of the CGHS and ECHS to make much impact, Dr Singh, Chairman of the Max Healthcare, said only 700 hospitals are empanelled under the CGHS.

''Many private hospitals are not empanelled as they cannot afford that level of pricing. Under the CGHS, OPD services are discounted by ten to 70 percent and in-patient care by 60 to 90 percent, which many hospitals could not afford,'' he pointed out.

And many a time physicians do not want to see patients covered under the CGHS, and hundreds are denied best health care facilities, he added.

The three doctors were addressing a press conference ahead of the Fourth India Health Summit, to be organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry and the IHCF on November 13 and 14.

Dr Singh said a white paper will be soon submitted to the Government on the findings of a study being initiated to get to understand the CGHS/ECHS schemes and to study the practices around the world. ''It will point out the anomalies and the archaicness of the schemes,'' he said.

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