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TWO KEYS TO BETTER DAYS

TWO KEYS TO BETTER DAYS
01 Feb 2020

 

India seems to have finally woken up to the importance of preventive and primary health care  

The medical community from India, Asia Pacific and the USA joined the speakers in New Delhi recently at a two-day conference and workshop over fundamental doctrines of anti-aging.

As many as 300 doctors, including world renowned clinicians and researchers in the field of integrative medicine, participated in the conference to sensitise people on the importance of intermittent fasting and long life.

American Academy of Antiaging Medicine (A4M) with Smart Group conducted India's first anti-aging International conference.

Speaking at the event, Dr. B K Modi, Founder-Chairman, Smart Group said: "There is an uncanny similarity between ancient Indian science fundamentals of anti-aging. It is my earnest wish that India leads this global anti-aging era".

"I am very glad that doctors in India are taking a keen interest in preventive health. I wish more people discover the benefits of preventive health, and can lead happy & healthy lives, beyond 100," he added.

Dr Modi also announced to create wellness cities in New Delhi and Modipur and Rampur by 2025.

"A host of converging technologies like artificial intelligence, Robotics, Virtual Reality, Digital Biology, sensors, will clash into 3D printing, blockchain, quantum computing and global gigabyte networks in the near future and it will completely change the dynamics of the healthcare industry and how it will be delivered," said Preeti Malhotra, Chairman, Smart Bharat & Chairman, Organising Committee Smart A4M India Conference.

"Preventive healthcare has a profound effect on human longevity, awareness and mental wellbeing. I am very happy that we have been able to bring A4M to India to initiate this conversation, much needed in a country like ours," she noted.

DUE FOCUS

Projecting a Rs 5.38 lakh crore requirement over the next five years for providing primary healthcare, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has said it will help deal with 90 per cent of the healthcare demands.

In a presentation to 15th Finance Commission, the Ministry said investment in primary healthcare could reduce the need for more costly and complex care by preventing illness and promoting general health.

There had been a lack of focus on health promotion and healthy lifestyle, causing high incidence of non-communicable diseases (NCDs), it noted.

Four major NCDs – cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and respiratory diseases – account for nearly 62 per cent of all mortality among men and 52 per cent among women. Of this, 56 per cent is premature.

Noting the need for strengthening the primary healthcare system, the Ministry said public investment was the need of hour. People end up spending more on secondary and tertiary healthcare due to lack of high-quality primary healthcare facilities. Over 70 per cent of out-of-pocket expenditure is on non-hospital care and nearly two-thirds of this goes towards buying medicines.

Dr Shakti Gupta, Medical Superintendent of RP Centre at AIIMS, said strengthening primary health centres and district hospitals was key to improving the system.

"If the primary healthcare centres and district hospitals are strengthened in terms of infrastructure, equipment and trained manpower, no one will have to rush to medical colleges and big cities for common health issues," said Dr Gupta. "We spend more on tertiary care and less on primary healthcare," he said.

There is a huge shortfall in the primary healthcare infrastructure and professionals.

Around Rs 1.88 lakh crore would be needed to address the shortage of healthcare professionals, and Rs 90,336 crore to bridge the infrastructure gap, according to the Health Ministry.

The Finance Commission, headed by N.K. Singh, has asked the Ministry to come up with revised proposals on the optimum use of funds in respect of sector-specific grants.

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