Private sector must come forward in healthcare sector in India

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M Venkaiah Naidu was speaking the 43rd National Conference of Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeons of India

M Venkaiah Naidu, Vice President of India, said that the private sector must come forward in healthcare sector in India to fulfill the healthcare requirements of the whole nation. He was addressing the 43rd National Conference of Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeons of India with the theme ‘Innovate, inspire, integrate,’ in Chennai.

Saying the budding maxillofacial surgeons of today have a wider surgical horizon to explore, the Vice President said that the role of an oral and maxillofacial surgeon in the society is of paramount importance and indispensable, especially during the time of tragic accidents or oral cancers.

The Vice President said that India is the ‘oral cancer’ capital of the world and it is among the top three cancers in India in terms of its incidence. This creates a responsibility for the oral and maxillofacial surgeons not only to treat this disease but also help in preventing the occurrence of oral cancer by increasing anti-tobacco awareness, he added.

He urged the healthcare professionals to encourage people to go for early and regular medical checkups. Lack of early identification and diagnosis often leads to patients seeking care only in the terminal stages, he said. Steps must be taken to reduce the cost of oral and maxillofacial surgery and make it affordable to common man, including those in rural areas, he added.

The Vice President said that early detection is crucial for any disease, more so for cancer. Although preventive, curative and palliative care programmes have been initiated at national and regional levels, these measures seem to be too negligible for combating the spread of cancer, he said. Unaffordable healthcare is a serious social handicap and Ayushman Bharat scheme would be a real boon to the poor and the needy, he added.

He urged all healthcare professionals to create awareness regarding the maxillofacial treatment procedures and highlight them at all medical facilities including PHCs. There is a need to lay down a strong referral network to address them at the nearest district hospital where a specialised OMF service can be set up, he added.