First National Health Conclave on NCD held in New Delhi

Dignitaries at the launch of Health Quest, a first-of-its-kind  compendium of best practices on Emergency Medicine and Critical Care Dignitaries at the launch of Health Quest, a first-of-its-kind compendium of best practices on Emergency Medicine and Critical Care

Key stakeholders in healthcare deliberated on knowledge innovation, quality improvement, policy regulations and human resource development with regard to chronic care diseases

As India is experiencing a rapid health transition with a rising burden of Non Communicable Disease (NCDs), Association of Health Providers India (AHPI), Public Health Foundation of India (PHFI), Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), National Board of Examinations along with other key partners from government, research institutions, academia and international agencies organised a National Health Conclave 2017 focusing on NCDs with the theme Chronic Care – Innovation, Opportunities and Challenges.

The two-day conclave saw a conglomeration of top leaders from both the government and private healthcare fraternity, who urged the need for incentivising higher private investments in the healthcare sector and also synergise the efforts of the government and private healthcare sector to achieve the goal of Universal Health Coverage (UHC), as NCDs not only have a serious impact on human health, but also on economic growth.

In his inaugural video address JP Nadda, Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare, Government of India, said, “Combating NCDs is one of the most significant challenge for the public health community globally and our government is geared up to tackle the chronic disease epidemic efficiently and effectively. I am glad that the National Health Conclave 2017 is developing a road map to address the issues related to chronic care conditions that is a need of the hour. I am sure that the conclave will be a constructive step towards a multi-sectoral collaborative approach to strengthen healthcare systems in India by bringing all stake holders on one platform to find constructive and lasting solution.”

Highlighting that the new National Health Policy (NHP) concentrates on NCDs, Rajendra Pratap Gupta, Advisor, MoH&FW said,“NHP paves the road-map for accountable, affordable and acceptable healthcare. The NHP indicates on increasing access, improving the quality and lowering the costs. The central government is increasing the utilisation of public health facilities. We are taking steps to progressively achieve the UHC, by assuring free comprehensive primary, geriatric, palliative and rehabilitative healthcare services. We have enhanced outreach programme of healthcare via MMU, health screening of NCDs and addressing micro-nutrient deficiencies.”

Dr Soumya Swaminathan, Director General, ICMR in her address lauded the organisers AHPI and PHFI for getting a huge number healthcare organisations and relevant stakeholders together to discuss and create a strategy to tackle the prevalence of NCDs in the country under the umbrella of National Health Conclave Alliance.

“NCDs requires action at different levels and at various times we have been flagged about the high prevalence of NCDs, especially after multiple data has raised concerns over India’s alarming malnutrition rates and disease burden. There is a huge potential for control and prevention of NCDs through early screening and we need to emphasise on understanding the social-economic and cultural contexts in countering the rising NCDs, further laying stress on social behavior change. I am glad that this conclave has a multi-sectoral and convergent approach for prevention and control of NCDs, and can advise the government on advocacy, awareness, access, alliance and accountability towards NCD control in India,” Dr Swaminathan said.

Speaking on the burden of NCDs from the context of rural India, Dr Devi Prasad Shetty, Chairman and Founder, Narayana Health, said, “The health policy makers should ensure that 5500 Community Health Centres (CHC), 600 district hospitals of the country are staffed and equipped to perform Bell Weather procedures. The procedures ensure that the hospitals can handle three emergencies like C-section laparotomy and surgery for compound fractures. If these three procedures are done in every CHC level, we will have a best healthcare delivery in the country. We have created regulatory structure that a doctor cannot do a procedure without a PG. So essentially, we have disassociated the medical education from the needs of a common man. The country needs a policy on medical education, which emphasises on training doctors for CHC and taluka hospitals, this will transform rural health in two years. Today, doctor with just MBBS degree cannot anaesthetise a patient, or do a appendix procedure even a ultrasound, interpret X-rays, this is the regulation of the country. Government hospitals  employs 65,697 MBBS across the country, but they are not allowed to do any of the Bell Weather procedures, we have created a first world regulatory structure with the third world infrastructure, we need to change our attitude towards medical education.”

Dr Alex Thomas, Organising Chairman of the Conclave and President, AHPI, in his address said, “Advancement in science has led to a fair level of success in our fight against communicable diseases. However, we are now being faced with an alarming increase in the number of NCDs. Most of the NCD’s are chronic and are associated with a huge loss of potentially productive years (35-64 years) and also account for 42 per cent of all deaths. NCD’s are a great ‘equaliser’ affecting both sexes, rich and poor, urban and rural in almost equal proportions. In order to strengthen the fight against NCD’s, we at AHPI along with PHFI and other key partners have joined hands to organise the National Health Conclave 2017 with the theme Chronic Care – Innovation, opportunities and Challenges.”

Representing PHFI at the National Health Conclave 2017, Prof D Prabhakaran, VP Research and Policy, PHFI, said, “As a key partner to this Conclave, PHFI reaffirms its commitment to embark upon a renewed roadmap to address the current constraints in the health system to effectively manage NCDs and its associated complications in India. Through our globally acclaimed courses, quality educational and research initiatives coupled with technology wherewithal, we are confident that the healthcare community will be able to clinically diagnosis and manage NCDs through a more systematic and structured approach, augmenting the government’s agenda towards successfully rolling the National Health Policy 2017 and meeting the Sustainable Development Goal on health.”

At the National Health Conclave, ISRO launched its first healthcare intervention, Health Quest, a compendium of best practices on Emergency Medicine and Critical Care jointly developed by ISRO along with representatives of specialists from Society of Emergency Medicine India [SEMI], Indian Society for Critical Care medicine [ISCCM], National Accreditation Board for Hospitals and Healthcare Providers [NABH] Consortium of Healthcare Organizations [CAHO], AHPI, Public Health Foundation of India and NBE.

A white paper will be released that will have policy advocacies and resource requirements to enable the government to arrive at a more meaningful, outcome-oriented resource allocation in health. Express Healthcare was one of the media partners for the conclave.