Resolution-2 (SJM's NCM (online) 5-6 June 2021)
June 10, 2021
Making India a Global Hub of Vibrant and Innovative Healthcare system
Covid 19 pandemic crisis has exposed weaknesses of the Indian Healthcare system. However, this crisis can be used as an opportunity to strengthen its healthcare ecosystem to make India a global hub of preventive and curative Healthcare using its wide, diversified healthcare experience, pharmaceutical manufacturing and wellness industry. India can be a global leader using its successful low-cost Healthcare delivery models, low cost drug manufacturing system, combining traditional and modern medicine knowledge, wisdom(Vasudev Kudamkum and Service Motive) and technology to offer low cost healthcare solutions. This can be further used to produce High value added and innovative medicines and other drugs.
Since independence, India has several achievements to its credit in terms of improvement in infant mortality, reduced birth and death rate, eradicating several fatal diseases, creation of large healthcare network with both modern and AYUSH (Traditional) medicine system, development of low cost healthcare delivery model, successful model of private-public-partnership, low cost drug producer and exporter, and provider of health professionals (i.e. Doctors and Trained Nurses) to the world.
On the other hand, India is still not able to provide its entire population a good, affordable and widely accessible Healthcare provision and facilities. Our healthcare system is characterized as deficient and inadequate, with poor health infrastructure. The second wave of the Covid 19 has a devastating impact on the economy and the lives of people. The pandemic and viruses are challenges not only just in the short to medium term, but they are also linked with the future challenges of biowarfare and bio terrorism. This is the right time, we make our Healthcare and pharmaceutical Industry the most vibrant and global leader by strengthening its capacity and quality.
India is known as the Pharmacy of the world with a large network of 10500 pharmaceutical manufacturing facilities. It is contributing 20 percent of the world's generic market and 62 percent of global demand for the vaccines. The size of the industry is around $42 billion (in 2020) with an equal contribution from the domestic and export market. In the year 1969, India was producing just 5% of its drug consumption, as the 95% was produced by the Multinational companies. By the year 2020, the share of Indian companies in manufacturing drugs for domestic consumption has increased to 80%. The sector has provided employment directly and indirectly to around 2.7 million people. India ranks third in the world in terms of production of drugs in terms of volume, that is 10% of the global production. However, in terms of value of drug manufacturing, India has 14th position globally. This shows that Indian industry needs to move up the value chain with more investment in the R&D.
The solution to the challenges India facing is an efficient and agile healthcare system and innovative pharmaceutical and life science industry. It requires the strengthening of the following: accelerating research and innovation, achieving sustainable and equitable healthcare, strengthening manufacturing and supply chain, and improving access to medicines. All these four aspects are important.
India cannot depend on other countries for our health and safety needs. Recently in the Budget, the Government of India has announced 'Atmanirbhar Swasthya Bharat Yojana' to develop the capacity of Health system and institutions across the continuum of care at all levels viz., primary, secondary and tertiary. This needs to be implemented in a most efficient and time bound manner with effective monitoring.
India should produce all the drugs, API and essential equipment in the country. The Atmanirbhar Bharat mission is aimed at this. The government has provided a number of incentives to support manufacturing. However, we also need to focus more on research and innovation to develop innovative drugs and vaccines to meet future challenges. This requires a need to support quality research institutions in the country, provide skilling and upskilling to the talent pool of scientists, researchers and technologists, and enhance collaboration between stakeholders and academics. There is a need to maintain a positive operative environment for R&D investment and risk taking to thrive.
In order to achieve the aim of global leader in Healthcare and Pharma, we need to further strengthen and encourage Public-Private Partnership in all the fields of Healthcare system.
The success of all the policies of the government depends on time-bound effective implementation. To achieve this, bureaucrats or task forces are appointed to implement and monitor all these policies with outcome based/performance oriented Indicators.
There is also a need to look at the next gen capabilities and invest in the future.