Medical Education Minister Ramachandra Gowda on Friday called upon the healthcare industry to innovate ways to cut costs in healthcare to make it accessible to all.
Speaking after inaugurating Healthex 2010, a four-day exhibition of medical, surgical and diagnostic equipment, technology, materials, supplies and allied services at the Bangalore International Exhibition Centre (BIEC) on Tumkur Road, the Minister said the industry should focus on preventive healthcare, especially in rural areas. “This can happen only if the cost of medical equipment and diagnostic facilities comes down,” he said.
Pratap C. Reddy of Apollo Hospitals said there was a need to increase the doctor-patient ratio and this could be done by increasing hospital facilities across the country. “We want the Government to provide more world-class medical institutions such as All India Institute of Medical Sciences in other parts of the country,” he said.
Pointing out that Healthex 2010 also focussed on creating awareness about a healthy lifestyle among people, Dr. Reddy said he hoped that Bangalore would become a world capital for such health exhibitions. Naresh Trehan, cardiologist, commented on the recent decision by health insurance companies to withdraw cashless medical facilities in select hospitals from July 1. “The decision is only a symptom. The real disease is the high cost of healthcare in India,” he said.
Incidentally, when Mr. Ramachandra Gowda was asked about the issue, he said he was unaware of it. “This issue has not come to my notice. I have learnt about it only in the newspapers.”
BIEC chairman Jamshyd N. Godrej appealed to the Government to facilitate seamless connectivity to the Bangalore International Exhibition Centre.