It’s time to rewamp the health sector

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CHENNAI: Murali Subramanian, professor of healthcare marketing, Indian Institute of Knowledge Management (IIKM), expressed his concern about the poor expenditure on the healthcare sector by the government, in a seminar organised by Sankara Nethralaya on Healthcare Marketing recently.

“The government’s spending on healthcare is inconsequential,” he said. While the the US government spent 45 per cent and the Thailand government spent 65 per cent of their revenue on the healthcare sector, the Indian government only spent a petty 17 per cent on the same, he added.

“We have more private hospitals cropping up. Since they use all types of strategies to reach out to customers, they flourish more than government hospitals,” he said.

Laxminarayanan, founder, MyShiksha SoftSkills Consultants, Chennai, said, “We haven’t tapped the entire potential of the healthcare sector. Though the government schemes are good, they become weak while  being implemented.” He added that the present generation sought to the social media sites to know more about health issues and conveyed that it was imperative to move with the time if one wanted to attract customers. “Education, health and food — these are the three areas where it is easy to make money. When the government ignores it, private organisations take it up,” he said.

A KPMG survey ranks India 190 out of 192 countries in the field of global healthcare, and states that the medical sector generates 71 per cent of its revenue. McKinsey reports say that 78 per cent of healthcare system in the country is owned by private sectors among which Reliance, Apollo and Paras come out as the top players.

The existing healthcare schemes fail to make a ground impact, said Singari, a resident of Choolaimedu. “I came to know about the Chief Minister’s Health Insurance scheme only a day before they put up their canopies but had no clue about the diseases they covered.

They do not reach out well. The same is the case with hospitals. They lack staff, medicine and only give out half information. So we have no choice but to go to private hospitals,” she said.

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