80 Crore Indians Lack Health Coverage: Healthcare Changemakers Conclave Addresses Challenges and Solutions
The recent Healthcare Changemakers Conclave-2023 gathered healthcare professionals and organizations to celebrate their invaluable contributions to India’s healthcare landscape. The unique Doctor Couple Changemakers Awards, an innovative initiative, honored doctor couples who have dedicated their lives to improving healthcare in India.
Chief Guest Smt. Meenakshi Lekhi, MoS, External Affairs and Culture of India, lauded the event for bringing changemakers together and acknowledging their work during the COVID-19 pandemic. She highlighted the government’s commitment to enhancing healthcare accessibility through initiatives like Ayushman Bharat and the expansion of AIIMS and viral testing labs nationwide.
Guest of Honour Shri C K Mishra, former Secretary for Health Environment, Forests, and Climate Change, emphasized the need for continuous efforts to improve healthcare accessibility, affordability, quality, and equity. Celebrating changemakers, he said, is essential for inspiring others to make positive contributions to the healthcare sector.
Dr. Upasana Arora, MD of Yashoda Super Speciality Hospitals, urged a shift in attitudes and behaviors to make India’s healthcare system more scalable, affordable, accessible, and eco-friendly. She mentioned the construction of new green hospitals powered by solar energy as an example of sustainable development in action.
Commander Navneet Bali, Regional Director – North of Narayana Health, brought attention to the issue of healthcare accessibility in India. Despite the existence of Ayushman Bharat, he noted that approximately 80 crore Indians still lack health coverage, resulting in high out-of-pocket expenses for medical care. Overburdened government hospitals struggle to provide timely care, with daily OPD patients ranging from 18-25 thousand. Bali argued that technological intervention could help address these challenges and transform India’s healthcare landscape.