India Needs Cutting-Edge Technology to Become Global Healthcare Destination

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Dr. Prathap C. Reddy, Founder, Chairman, Apollo Hospitals Group, speaks about NCDs, healthcare challenges and solutions in a conversation with Shivani Arora.

You have been the pioneer in revolutionising private healthcare sector. Where do you see it now?

In India, the last few decades have certainly witnessed a healthcare revolution. High quality healthcare on par with global standards has become a lot more accessible and affordable. High-end medical technologgy in particular has been a huge enabler in bringing about this paradigm shift.

Yet, personally, I am of the view that we continue to be where we were over three decades ago, that is before 1983, the year when India’s first private hospital, Apollo Hospitals in Chennai opened its door to the people of this country. My seemingly harsh view is based on the reality that till date, over 40% of the country’s population travels over 100 km from towns and villages to access even basic medical care.

The healthcare imperative for the future has to be that the benefits of positive progress cascade to all and only then can we claim to be a truly inclusive nation. The biggest healthcare challenge ahead of us in the present day is that of non- communicable diseases (NCDs).

Furthermore, the health infrastructure is in a woeful state in the country. We need to add 100,000 beds annually for the next 10 years to address the need-gap and be in sync with the mandated WHO standards of beds to population.

According to you, what more needs to be done in healthcare sector?

I think the primary step is to create greater awareness about early detection and the importance of regular health checks. We also have to upgrade the technology available in India. At Apollo we already have the best infrastructure and diagnostic equipment, thanks to companies like Toshiba for their streamlined processes that have equipped us to handle emergencies.

Source: The Economic Times (link opens in a new window)

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