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Private Sector Should Set up Healthcare Facilities in Rural areas: Vice President Venkaiah Naidu

In Health, Nation
December 03, 2018

CHENNAI:
Vice-President M Venkaiah Naidu urged private sector to focus on setting up health care facilities in rural areas and partner with the government to make healthcare accessible to the common man.

Inaugurating a children’s hospital here, he also said there was a need to expand health insurance coverage. “The private sector should not concentrate on urban areas alone and must set up healthcare facilities in rural areas as part of the CSR (corporate social responsibility) activities”, he said.

It should also partner with the government in making healthcare affordable as well as accessible to the common man particularly in the rural and remote parts of the country, he said inaugurating the 120-bed Rainbow Children’s Hospital. The Vice-President said there was “minuscule penetration” of health insurance at the individual level and termed it as a “major issue of concern”.

Noting that some state governments have launched special health insurance packages for the below the poverty line families, he said, “there is a need to vastly expand the health insurance coverage of the population in the country”. Naidu also said the country needed more specialised paediatric care doctors and nursing professionals.

There was a need to set up more specialised children’s hospitals and the private sector must ensure that the treatment provided by them was not only “accessible” but also “affordable”, he said. Citing a recent report by UN Inter-agency Group for Child Mortality Estimation, he said it had stated India has improved its infant and neonatal medical care.

In 2017, the infant mortality rate in India was 32 deaths per 1,000 live births, compared to the global average of 12. In case of neonatal mortality rate too, India had 24 per 1,000 live births while the global average remained 18, he said. Naidu said the country had to step up the efforts in a concerted manner to meet the Sustainable Developmental Goals.

Noting that low birth weight, pneumonia and diarrhoeal diseases were among the major causes of child mortality in the country, he said according to 2018 Pneumonia and Diarrhoea progress report, 2.61 lakh Indian children died in 2016 before attaining the age of five due to diarrhoea or pneumonia which are preventable diseases.

“I am aware of the efforts of the governments at Centre and states to improve the health parameters. Much more needs to be done in improving the preventive and treatment interventions for new borns..to achieve UN’s sustainable development goal target”, he added.