Harsh Vardhan addresses National Council of CII


New Delhi, Nov 20 (UNI) The Indian Healthcare industry, which is one of the largest sectors in terms of revenue and employment, is projected to grow three-fold to Rs 8.6 trillion by 2022, for which steps need to be taken that allow stakeholders to converge within the industry.

'The need to provide healthcare, which is accessible and affordable, now more than ever, becomes a necessity, especially due to the effects that COVID-19 has had on our entire system,' Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare Harsh Vardhan said in an interaction with the National Council of Confederation of Indian Industries (CII), through video-conferencing here on Friday.

Congratulating the CII for organising and bringing together diverse platforms that have enabled the Centre to be in constant dialogue and deliberation on the pandemic for the welfare of one of the largest populations in the world, Dr Vardhan highlighted the government's efforts in launching the Pradhan Mantri Jan Aarogya Yojana (PMJAY) under Ayushman Bharat as a step in the right direction, to ensure that affordable healthcare reached the masses.

'The Indian healthcare scenario presents a spectrum of contrasting landscapes with the inequality existing within the urban-rural setting. This gap needs to be bridged and the Government under Prime Minister Narendra Modi is determined to bridge it. Ayushman Bharat with PMJAY and the HWC network for screening of Non-Communicable Diseases and cancer is a significant step in that direction,' he added.

In this regard, the Union Minister said, 'Public-Private-Partnerships (PPPs) is the way forward as they help improve efficiency and innovation, increase effectiveness, help reduce urban-rural disparity, increase accessibility and reduce our Out Of Pocket Health Expenditure.'

Speaking on the achievements of the Health Ministry in utilising Information Technology in not only fighting COVID-19, but also providing non-COVID essential healthcare in the country, he said, 'We need to maximise the potential that technology has provided us and leverage this in our fight towards healthcare for all.

'Telemedicine has come to the fore and provided us with a solution for last-mile connectivity. Today, the eSanjeevani service has completed eight lakh teleconsultations,' he added.

Dr Vardhan assured the audience that Covid vaccine will be available on time. In this regard, he mentioned that the Government had already ramped up its immunisation capability with an elaborate cold storage chain for immunising children from 12 diseases under Mission Indradhanush, an official statement here said.

'The entire eVIN platform is being repurposed as COVIN Network. All movement of stock can be digitally tracked and those receiving vaccines can also be traced after two to three weeks, if the vaccine requires two shots. This will ensure last mile Vaccine delivery,' he said.