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'Healthcare sector needs USD 3 trillion in 10 years'

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

India's economic growth will not be sustainable unless there is heightened investment on the country's healthcare that would require injection of USD 3 trillion in the next 10 years to have an overall 'ripple effect' on the economy, according to a report.

As per a white paper, 'Aarogya 2025', Healthcare Roadmap for next 10 years launched at NATHEALTH event today said the country is healthier now than ever before, but its "continued economic progress is threatened by the country's under-served and under-consumed healthcare system".

"If is serious about transforming its healthcare system - an evolution that will require USD 3 trillion in spending - it must increase its investment in the sector to about 2.5-3 percent of the GDP, in the next 10 years, which will have an overall ripple effect on the economy," it added.

The paper has been launched by apex healthcare sector body, NATHEALTH in collaboration with the US based global management consulting firm Bain & Company.

Commenting on the findings, NATHEALTH President Shivinder Mohan Singh said: "At 1.3 per cent of the GDP, public spending on healthcare in is among the lowest across the developing countries and affects the poor and inaccessible rural areas the most."

In order to develop a holistic and sustainable healthcare system, our immediate priority is to ensure that the government assigns national priority to healthcare agenda, commits to spending more on public health and define a framework for the healthcare system, he added.

"Healthcare spending in India needs to go to 6 per cent of the of which the government's investment in the sector should go to 3 per cent. There is also need to for basic health insurance to all," Head of Bain's healthcare practise in Asia-Pacific Karan Singh told PTI.

A paradigm shift from curative to prevention and wellness is also needed, he added.

"The sole responsibility does not lie with the government. The private players in the healthcare industry have a significant role to play to bridge the demand-supply gap and to build a healthier India," NATHEALTH Founder Chairman Prathap C Reddy said.

The government should also help by giving priority status to the sector, he added.

"India can adopt universal access to essential healthcare driven by private sector-led provision with the Government playing the role of primary payer and provider in remote and underserved areas," NATHEALTH Secretary General Anjan Bose said.

The healthcare body also inked a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Indian Medical Association (IMA) to jointly work on ethics in healthcare with leaders of NATHEALTH taking a pledge to follow a code of ethics.

First Published: Tue, January 20 2015. 18:55 IST