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Ramesh Shankar
Wednesday, July 6, 2022, 08:00 Hrs  [IST]

The fast growing healthcare industry in the country has, for a long time now, felt the need for an apex regulatory body and a single-window approval system to improve ease of doing business and better growth of the sector. As the health sector regulatory compliances vary from state to state in India, there is an emerging need to simplify the regulatory framework with a single-window approval system, minimise compliance requirements and maximise self-governance by the adoption of standard practices and benchmarking. Besides, there is an urgent need to institutionalise an apex body that can ensure a uniform regulatory framework for healthcare across the country. Apart from these areas, catering to the emerging healthcare landscape in India like digital health, artificial intelligence, machine learning, software as a medical device and other such areas is key to simplifying the governance systems. In this regard, the government needs to come up with various measures including a Healthcare Infrastructure Development Fund and a Performance Linked Incentive (PLI) scheme for healthcare sector apart from joining hands with the private sector to tap the potential of the youth to create a strong medical workforce for the growth of the healthcare sector in the country. While the government has set up dedicated funds and schemes for supporting infrastructure development across various sectors like Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs), start-ups, electronic development, medical devices parks and others, there are limited low-cost capital options for the private sector to leverage for the development of healthcare infrastructure in the country. So, there is a dire need to set up a healthcare fund promoted by the Central and state governments to provide capital at low-cost, support with dedicated viability gap funding, subsidies on medical equipment and financial benefits linked to the development of projects across Tier-II and Tier- III cities. The healthcare sector in India has huge potential for medical tourism and attracting foreign investment.

It is under this background, the KPMG report becomes immensely relevant. KPMG has recently released a study titled ‘15 top priorities for transforming Indian healthcare: the 2024 agenda’, in which the multinational professional services network has identified top 15 priorities for transforming Indian healthcare and achieving the 2024 agenda. The KPMG’s priorities are expanding financing for ‘Healthy India’; promoting ‘Healthy India’ as a mass movement; launching a Healthcare Sector Promotion Programme; ensuring health coverage for all; strengthening the primary care system; redefining and reviving public-private partnerships; driving Ayushman Bharat Digital Mission (ABDM) till the last mile; ‘National Health App’ for aggregating healthcare services across the value chain; ‘National Task Force’ for healthcare workforce development; building a ‘National Medical Network’; developing ‘National Health Quality Index’ and transparency system; strengthening Medical hubs/Medicities across India; stepping up the national surveillance system; utilising Telemedicine, Virtual care, and Metaverse; and decarbonising the healthcare system. The healthcare industry in the times ahead will be shaped by many forces. However, the critical forces governing Indian healthcare in the next decade should include the top 15 priorities identified by the KPMG for transforming Indian healthcare and achieving the 2024 agenda. KPMG has done its bit, now it is up to the government to act on it to take the Indian healthcare industry to the next level of growth.


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