Why Healthcare Needs CSR Boost?

Despite being a major destination for medical tourism and the fastest growing economy, India’s progress in healthcare is slower not just by OECD standards but also as per the standards of the developing world. When compared with emerging economies and its neighbours, India faces a bigger disease burden.

Here are some of the facts which highlight the state of health care in India:

1. India has one of the highest disease burdens (20%) in the world.

2. More people die in India of preventable diseases than anywhere.

3. India still accounts for 27% of neonatal deaths, 23% of infant deaths and 23% of TB deaths in the world. Out of the total neonatal deaths, 35% are due to lack of nutrition.

4. Every fifth person in India suffers from a chronic disease and more than 6 out of 10 people die from non-communicable diseases.

5. Cancer cases in India are also likely to rise by 25 per cent by 2020 from 1.4 million to 1.7 million by 2020.

6. Disease burden to cost India $6.2 trillion by 2030.

7. Between 1990 and 2010 premature deaths from cardiovascular diseases increased by 59 per cent to 37 million from 23.2 million.

8. Nearly 40% of the Indian population of all ages has mycobacterium tuberculosis infection; and there are about 85 lakh people with TB at any given time.

9. The US has 2.5 doctors and 11.1 nurses per 1000 population, while India has 0.7 Doctors and 1.1 Nurses per 1000 population.

10. India’s ambitious National Health Policy plans to increase public spending on health from 1.15% to 2.5% by 2025, when only 17.33% of the lower income classes having access to free health care.

It is clear that the government alone won’t be able to address all the health care issues. Although the National Health Policy 2017 has been approved, the target set promises little.

Corporations should see this gap as an opportunity to partner with the government to play a responsible role in improving the health care system. What we have been witnessing so far is their focus on health camps, building hospitals or donating equipment to hospitals. Most of these activities can only generate short-term impact and the targets are poorly set.

Instead, businesses can train local youths while pharmacists can be trained to prescribe medicines for minor ailments. One example is the Fiinovation and RPG foundation partnership to train youths in ‘patient care’. Similarly, companies could fund medical education to reduce the significant shortage of doctors and nurses. The concept of barefoot doctors in China can be implemented in rural areas. Additionally, CSR funds can also be utilized to provide medical treatment and promote traditional medicines.

 

By Rahul Choudhury

Media & Communications, Fiinovation

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Fiinovation’s Take on Health Sector Problems

The world’s second most populous country is currently facing a triple-disease burden of maternal and child health, infectious and non-communicable diseases. Despite significant efforts, India has been unable to provide affordable healthcare solutions to the masses. With India being the third-largest economy in the world, it isn’t being able to deliver world-class healthcare services to the 800 million people residing in the rural areas.

Fiinovation, a global CSR consulting company, suggests that India’s tax-based funding of healthcare is not adequate and barely support the healthcare system. India annually spends approximately Rs 6 trillion on healthcare to cater to 1.3 billion population. With an experience of over eight years in health projects, Fiinovation understands that over 60 per cent of healthcare expenditure in India is being incurred by individuals themselves. Indians usually spend a lot of money on healthcare services.

Indians have the innate tendency to ignore health issues until we are really sick. This is the reason why Indians don’t opt for health insurances. The health insurance covers less than 5 per cent of total health expenditure. Apart from this, formal private network is a small portion of India’s health sector. The people usually suffer due to such circumstances and spend heavily on hospitals, completely ignoring primary care and early diagnosis.

Understanding the situation, Fiinovation believes the sector needs a complete revamp to achieve the health targets of the nation. Like several other countries, India too needs to on taking the path of free markets and build high-performing health systems. There needs to be a push towards health insurance. Countries, such as Japan, Britain, Germany and Thailand have given a lot of emphasis on providing universal health coverage. Fiinovation believes that the government will play a crucial role in designing and supervising the entire health system of the country, instead of just focusing on state-owned hospitals and public health centers.

Equally, the private sector should join hands with the government, take cognizance of the loopholes and establish an effective healthcare system in the country along with mechanisms for early diagnosis and universal health insurance coverage. If adequate healthcare services are provided in the rural areas, it will reduce the burden of hospitals and clinics in the urban areas. A lot of lives can also be saved, if facilities for early detection and diagnosis are available. With health being a favourable sector for CSR expenditures in the country, businesses should definitely look to organise health camps and provide other infrastructural facilities to curb the prevailing health problems in India. There has always been a need to spread more awareness about the preventive measures of diseases.

At present, it seems to be an uphill task for India, however, countries such as Thailand, Brazil and South Korea had similar health statistics which they managed to turn around in the last two-three decades. India can take note from these countries and start planning for re-designing the healthcare system of India.

By Rahul Choudhury

Media & Communications, Fiinovation

TOP 5 HEALTH STORIES OF 2016

India has seen some major policy reforms in the year 2016. The central government has allocated budget worth billions to bring radical change and upgrade the healthcare sector as we believe that a developed economy can be build on the foundation of a healthy nation.

  • The Big Health Budget

Realising the requirement of funds for upgrading the infrastructure to meet the increasing healthcare demands of the country, the Niti Aayog has allocated Rs. 37,490 crores under the 12th Five Year Plan to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. The current budget is about three times the actual expenditure under the 11th Five Year Plan. The share of healthcare in total plan allocation is set to increase by 2-5% of the GDP in the 12th plan from 0.9% in the 11th plan. The major portion of the allocated budget was sent to the Rural Health Mission which support the health developments of less privileged states.

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  • CSR Contributions on Health

A report released by KPMG on the CSR spending of firms states that from the total outlay of Rs. 6,490 crores, Indian companies have spent a total of Rs. 5,115 crores in 2015 and the heath sector tops the spending accounting for 20% of the total CSR spend. The spending on health sectors comprises the availability of safe drinking water, combating HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases.

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  • Back to Roots

India is known to be the land of Ayurveda and has been developing branded as well as generic quality medicines since ages. It has evolved from a industry of Rs. 1500 crores in 1980 to a whopping Rs. 1,19,000 crores in 2012 and it continues to grow by leaps and bounds. Even though the medicines are priced competitively, still a major chuck of the poor people have either no or low access to the medicines. Hence, to ensure that the quality medicine reaches to everyone at affordable prices, the government has initiated the opening of 3,000 Jan Aushadhi Stores (JAS) under Pradhan Mantri Jan Aushadhi Yojana (PMJAY) across the country by the end of March 2017. The government has allocated the budget of Rs. 39,532.55 crore budget for this initiative.

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  • Tech Savvy India

The E-health initiative, which is a part of Digital India drive launched by the Prime Minister Mr. Narendra Modi, aims at providing effective and economical healthcare services to all citizens. In order to ensure greater transparency in information sharing and access to healthcare facilities and experts by every citizen of the country, the Ministry of Health has decided to expedite the digitalization of the healthcare sector. The programme aims to make use of technology and portals to facilitate people to maintain health records and book online appointments with various departments of different hospitals using eKYC data of Aadhaar number.

The technology plays an important role to cure the chronic diseases like cardiac arrest, cancer, and TB etc. It helps in saving countless lives, who may have otherwise succumbed to death due to lack of these services. As per the Ministry of Health, development of 50 technologies has been targeted in the FY16, for the treatment of diseases like Cancer and TB. Medical technology is an area where technology plays an important role in creating sustainable health.

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  • National Health Protection Scheme (NHPS)

The government has alloted Rs. 1,500 crore under the National Health Protection Scheme (NHPS) an increase of 152% from the previous year, reflecting its continued commitment towards providing health insurance to the middle class and marginalised sections of the society. A cover of Rs. 1 lakh per family was introduced under the NHPS with an additional coverage of Rs. 30,000 for the senior citizens.“It looks like insurance is the direction that universal health coverage and NHM are taking. There is clear emphasis on insurance,” said K. Srinath Reddy, President of the non-profit Public Health Foundation of India.

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Compiled By:

Manisha Bhatia

Media & Communications, Fiinovation