Tata Social Enterprise Challenge – Roundtable on Healthcare

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Bangalore: The first “Thinking Social” roundtable for the year 2016-17 was organized under the aegis of Tata Social Enterprise Challenge (TSEC), by IIM Calcutta Innovation Park (IIMCIP) in association with the Tata group. The theme of the roundtable was “Providing Affordable Healthcare”.

The speakers for the day comprised of eminent entrepreneurs, investors, domain experts and policy makers who have rich experience in the Healthcare sector in India. The audience (a strong presence of 25 participants) comprised of industry leaders, academia, entrepreneurs and investors focused on the healthcare domain.

In the inaugural session, Dr. Subhrangshu Sanyal, CEO – IIM Calcutta Innovation Park introduced the theme and shared with the audience the objective of this roundtable and formally announced the launch of the Tata Social Enterprise Challenge 2016-17.

The panel discussion was moderated by Prof. Manish K Thakur of IIM Calcutta. He shared with the audience some facts and figures of the Indian Healthcare sector. Prof. Thakur stressed that at least 4% of India’s GDP is required to be spent on Healthcare but the fact is that only 1.5% of the GDP is being currently spent, which is lower than that of Thailand. He also spoke about the fact that not more than 24 million Indians are covered with health insurance policy. Prof Thakur then requested the panelists to share their insights on the challenges and opportunities that exist in this domain.

Dr. Sumanth Raman, Head-Healthcare Innovation, Tata Consultancy Services Ltd, spoke about the hard challenges faced by the Healthcare sector in India and stressed that India should be at par with at least Sri Lanka and Bangladesh in terms of Healthcare spend. Dr Raman mentioned, “The healthcare costs are going up day by day which is pushing India’s rural population to poverty and there is a tremendous shortage of healthcare facilities in the rural areas. The problem lies in the distribution of healthcare personnel as no one wants to go in these areas.” He insisted that a strong public health system is needed like that in the UK and that the PPP model should be encouraged. The key areas where improvement is required is to measure the quality of healthcare indices and unconventional methods like technology, electronic medical records etc.

Meena Ganesh, Co-founder and CEO – Portea Medical, said that there needs to be a continual care of patients post hospitalization – which is lacking to a great extent in India – and which is resulting in enhanced re-admission rates. She mentioned that, “70% needs of the patient can be delivered outside the hospital by proper healthcare management at home.” Meena concluded by saying that the performance of hospitals and management of patients’ health needs to be measured.

Vikram Vuppala, Founder and CEO – NaphroPlus, spoke about chronic disease management in the healthcare sector which needs to be improved in our country. He stressed the importance of the PPP model which is required to improve the Indian Healthcare sector. Vikram mentioned that, “It is okay for the private players to make 15% profit margin in order to make their business scalable and reach to the masses.” He concluded by saying that there needs to be a rationalization of salaries in various levels of healthcare workers.

Rajiv Vasudevan, CEO – AyurVaid Hospitals, spoke that chronic illnesses require a comprehensive, customized and affordable approach to prevention and cure and that Ayurveda is innovatively meeting the demand. He stressed on the fact that there needs to be proper care that would enable a person’s health and sustained wellbeing, by empowering the community of patients and their families, doctors, and caregivers.

The Q&A round witnessed good participation from the audience. There were many significant issues discussed and addressed by the audience and the panelists.

The roundtable ended with a valedictory address and vote of thanks from IIMCIP.

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