Govt, private sector need to work in tandem for increasing healthcare affordability: Experts

New Delhi: The government and private players need to work together in the healthcare sector to increase the affordability of medical services as rising cost impacts access to patients, experts said on Tuesday.

Arun Mitra, the core committee member of the Alliance of Doctors for Ethical Healthcare, suggests that the government should take steps such as 'one drug, one price' formula, strengthening of National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) and public sector units in the pharma sector.

These steps would help increase access to affordable medicines to all people, he said at a roundtable meeting on 'Cost of Life Saving Medicines - Is there a way out?', organised by startup Straight Drive.

Representational image. Reuters.

Representational image. Reuters.

Mitra also emphasised on the need to boost expenditure on R&D by the government on medicines.

Priti Nanda Sibal, Founder, AB Hospitals and Mediskool Health Services, said the government should involve all the stakeholders while taking decisions on price regulations for medicines.

"Multiple pillars are involved in this segment and they have to come together to promote the growth of the sector," she said.

Pratibha Sivasubramaniam, a lawyer who works in the sector, said healthcare is a basic right of the people and the government should ensure that.

"Steps should be taken to reduce the cost of medicines and increase affordability in the healthcare sector," she said adding the private sector should be transparent in telling the cost of cure to patients.

Healthcare equipment maker Vygon India MD Pavan Choudary said there is a need to focus on areas like transparency and alternative mechanism of price capping.

Mukund Trivedy, Founder of Straight Drive said the government must increase spending on the healthcare sector and promoting research and development of medicines.

"On the other hand, the private healthcare sector would have to be transparent in their pricing. Licensing and approval of drugs through the regulator should be made more stringent based on scientific data," he said.

He added that there is an urgent need for the government to focus on improving primary healthcare centres in the country.

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Updated Date: Feb 12, 2019 16:43:29 IST

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