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VHAI, IUPHE recommend development of sustainable healthcare system

Written by: Staff

New Delhi, June 13 (UNI) The Voluntary Health Association of India (VHAI) in collaboration with the International Union for Health Promotion and Education (IUPHE) have made several recommendations to the Government to develop public private partnership initiatives and ensure appropriate and sustainable health care for people.

The key recommendations, including institutionalisation of public-private partnerships and equity in access to health services, are based on learning from foreign countries and as well as within the country from successful Public Private Partnership initiatives in other States as well.

The collaboration, on the 'Indo-European Union dialogue on Government, Public and Private Partnership,' is being funded by 'EU - India Small Projects Facility Programme in Economic Cooperation (SPF).

''This particular Indo-EU dialogue is an endeavour to chart out an appropriate roadmap for the future designing of the health system based on collaboration between the Government-Private Sector and Non-profit sector,'' VhAI Chief Executive Alok Mukhopadhayay said at a conference here.

He said with the systems for healthcare delivery in a state of flux throughout the world, one of the greatest challenges is Comprehensive Health coverage for all, in particular recognising the most needful populations.

''Both public sector and the private sector will have to play a role in the provision of health care in India in the foreseeable future. It has been accepted that there needs to be a collaboration of efforts by various stakeholders -- public sector and private sector,'' he added.

The initiative recommended institutionalisation of public-private partnerships with an appropriate balance of public-private services.

''Partnership needs to be well-defined, as well as the terms public and private,'' said former Union Health Secretary Javed Chowdhary while reading out the recommendations.

According to the recommendations equity in access to health services has to be ensured and any scheme, whether community-based or otherwise, must have a minimum critical mass of resources.

''The minimum critical size of financial package is an fundamental requirement for a viable public healthcare system.'' The suggestions pointed out lack of human power for primary healthcare is an area of concern.

''Efforts will be made by the Planning Commission to amplify issues related to the incentives for medical and para-medical people to take up community healthcare. In order to meet the shortfall of human resources, multi-skills of health personnel and doctors are required.'' The recommendations said the Government has three roles -- that of provider, purchaser and regulator.

''The role of the Government as a regulator is significant. The roles of both Central and State governments need to be streamlined.'' The other suggestions included decentralisation of the health system with effective supervision, people should have an important role in their healthcare, developing health insurance is a crucial area, urgent need of consistent and reliable health statistics, non-codified practitioners play an important role in healthcare and sufficient investment in 'health promotion' and 'health education.' UNI NR YA VV1924

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