Shatrughan for more private role in healthcare

Hyderabad: Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare Shatrughan Sinha has called for greater private sector participation through private-public partnership initiatives to tackle diverse problems confronting the healthcare sector in India.

Sinha, who was here to take part in the 14th anniversary day of Apollo Hospitals, said the only way to tackle problems such as cancer, AIDS and various other diseases is to make concerted efforts with private sector participation. He urged various corporate hospitals to provide free healthcare to a section of population.

Voicing concern over the increasing costs of medicare and the mismatch in healthcare infrastructure, Sinha said: We are sitting on an AIDS time bomb as we account for the second biggest AIDS population of about 3.9 million in the world, next to Africa. As the costs of managing an AIDS patient are ever increasing, India will have to contend with the challenge of tackling the need to meet the high cost of treatment of the AIDS-affected.

Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu, launching Apollos tele-medicine project by commissioning the Hyderabad-Karimnagar link, said healthcare is becoming increasing costly for the government to handle on its own. There is a need for a greater private sector participation in healthcare industry. Though it is the duty of the government to provide primary healthcare to all, it would be difficult for the government to provide finances for speciality care.