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Opening Remarks by Ambassador Sibi George at the Ayushman Bharat : India Health Summit on Jan 28, 2019 at Berne

Posted on: January 28, 2019 | Back | Print

Opening Remarks by Ambassador Sibi George at the Ayushman Bharat : India Health Summit on Jan 28, 2019 at Berne

Good Evening Everybody,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

It  is  a  matter of great  pleasure  for  me  to  be  amongst  you  today  at  the   ‘Ayushman  Bharat:  India  Health Summit’. 

I  am  happy  that  my colleagues in the Commerce Wing of the Embassy have taken the initiative in organising  this  timely  health  event. 

Ayushman Bharat is one of the most discussed topics in India at all levels today, in government and private sector and also in media.

Ayushman  Bharat  is   the  name  of  a   flagship programme  launched  by  the  Government  of  India  in  September  2018. Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, in his Independence Day speech of 2018, announced the launch of this National Health Protection Scheme. It is the world’s largest public health care programme. It aims at providing  assured  holistic  healthcare  to  close  to  500  million  Indian nationals  at  primary,  secondary,  and  tertiary  levels  on  entitlement  basis.  An  important  aspect  of  Ayushman  Bharat  is  that  it  being  executed  through   the  existing  public  healthcare  system  as  well  as  private  hospitals. 

Within hundred days  of  its  launch,  around seven   hundred  thousand  people  have  already  availed  treatment  under  it.  The   benefits  provided  to  secondary  and  tertiary  health  care  beneficiaries  are  worth  over  Rupees  8  billion,  over a hundred and twenty   million  Swiss  Francs.  Cardiology  and   cardio-­thoracic  and  vascular  procedures  such  as  angioplasty,  coronary   artery  bypass  graft  and  valve  replacement  are  among the  top  packages   utilized  under  Ayushman  Bharat.  More  than  16,000  hospitals  have  been   empanelled  or  are  in  the  process  of  empanelment.  Around  3   million   beneficiary  e-­cards  have  been  generated  facilitating  access  to  quality   healthcare  under  the  scheme.  

I would like to leave it to the experts here to talk more about various aspects of Ayushman Bharat and also the health sector in India. The objective of this health summit today is not limited to the Ayushman Bharat scheme. It covers a wide spectrum of health care sector in India.  Healthcare has become one of India’s largest sectors - both in terms of revenue and employment. Healthcare in India comprises hospitals, medical devices, clinical trials, outsourcing, telemedicine, medical tourism, health insurance and medical equipment.

The Indian healthcare sector is growing at a brisk pace due to its strengthening coverage, services and increasing expenditure by public as well private players. The public healthcare system comprises limited secondary and tertiary care institutions in key cities and focuses on providing basic healthcare facilities in the form of primary healthcare centres in rural areas. The private sector provides majority of secondary, tertiary and quaternary care institutions with a major concentration in metros, tier I and tier II cities.

India's competitive advantage lies in its large pool of well-trained medical professionals. India is also cost competitive compared to its peers in Asia and Western countries. The cost of surgery in India is about one-tenth of that in the US or Western Europe. India is also fast emerging as a destination of medical tourism and Ayurveda treatment.

India’s healthcare industry is one of the fastest growing sectors and it is expected to reach $280 billion by 2020. India is a land full of opportunities for players in the medical devices industry. The country has also become one of the leading destinations for high-end diagnostic services with tremendous capital investment for advanced diagnostic facilities, catering to a greater proportion of population. Besides, Indian medical service consumers have become more conscious towards their healthcare upkeep.

Indian healthcare sector is much diversified and is full of opportunities in every segment which includes providers, payers and medical technology. With the increase in the competition, businesses are looking to explore for the latest dynamics and trends which will have positive impact on their business.

One of the major areas of cooperation between India and Switzerland is the health sector. Most of the major pharmaceutical companies have major presence in India. Their engagement is increasing rapidly. Similarly, a  large  number  of  Indian   professionals  are  working  in  the  Swiss  pharmaceutical  sector,  particularly   in  Basel and Zug,  and  there  are  also  a  number  of  Indian  students  &   doctoral  researchers  particularly  in  life  sciences  departments   of   the   prestigious  Swiss  Universities.

Our engagement in health sector is increasing rapidly. I look forward to a fruitful interactive session today.

Thank you.