Give priority to non communicable diseases, says expert

Effective rationalisation of resources is required for better leveraging of health funding

sakshi

Sakshi Kuchroo | August 18, 2016 | New Delhi


#chronic diseases   #Non communicable diseases   #health package   #NCD   #Kenneth Thorpe  
Dr Kenneth Thorpe
Dr Kenneth Thorpe

 “Health is an integral part of India’s growth and it is hence, imperative for the central and state governments to prioritise non communicable diseases (NCDs) and work in a more coordinated manner,” said V Selvaraju, secretary, Indian Health Economics and Policy Association (IHEPA) on Wednesday.

Selvaraju spoke at a round table conference in New Delhi. It was attended by public health experts, economists, patient groups and hospital administrators to discuss innovative mechanisms for improved healthcare coverage and financing.
 
He added that effective rationalisation of resources is required for better leveraging of health funding.
 
Dr Indrani Gupta, professor and head, health policy research unit, Institute of Economic Growth, said, “An essential health package which includes prevention and treatment of NCDs and injuries (NCDI) would be the right approach. The responsibility for implementing such a package lies with the government and it will have to raise sufficient finances for this. However, complementary and supplementary financing for especially the non below poverty line population through other instruments like insurance can be explored but only with adequate regulation, monitoring and oversight.”
 
Highlighting the need to focus on NCDs in India, Dr. Kenneth Thorpe, chairman, partnership for fight against chronic diseases, said that NCDs result in lower productivity and lost economic output. Also, investing in prevention, primary care and coordinated care in India will improve health and increase economic growth. “Government needs to create a roadmap for educating individuals about lifestyle disorders increasingly impacting health. Investing in health and education improves health outcomes and life expectancy,” he said.
 
Thorpe added that each 10 percent improvement in life expectancy at birth is associated with a 0.3 to 0.4 percentage point increase in GDP. 
Roopali Goyanka, associate professor, department of economics, Indraprastha College for Women, University of Delhi, said, “The health sector needs to pay a greater attention to primary intervention and prevention of all chronic diseases. The health workers at the primary level need to be trained to have an eye on the symptoms of these diseases.”
 

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