BioVoice News June 2016 Issue 2 Volume 1 - Page 25

“ In my experience over the last several years in India, an evidence-based action plan will help prevent, control and manage the growing disease burden, especially focusing on the escalating NCDs. health and low prevalence of insurance coverage are driving a large number of Indians to poverty as they have to bear high out-of-pocket expenses. If the government makes a policy shift to preventive care, longterm impact of diseases such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease and cancer can be checked at the primary stage of onset by ensuring timely diagnosis of patients. A patientcentric approach will help the government create a conducive environment for patients wherein medical experts and healthcare professionals can focus on specific diseases, thus providing better facilities and services to patients. Having worked closely with policy makers from the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare and the state health departments, public health experts and policy analysts, senior doctors, patient groups, and pharmaceutical and diagnostic companies, I think India has an immediate need to adopt a multisectoral approach to address the challenges in healthcare. Concerted, collaborative efforts by the central and state governments as well as public-private partnerships can lead the way in strengthening India’s healthcare system. In my experience over the last several years in India, an evidence-based action plan will help prevent, control and manage the growing disease burden, especially focusing on the escalating NCDs. India has been one of the early adopters in developing a policy framework towards addressing NCDs. At this crucial juncture for a developing country like India, it has immense opportunity to improve the quality of life for its citizens pave the way for a healthier future. How can we control the rising incidents of non-communicable disease (NCDs) like diabetes and heart attacks in India? There have been detailed deliberations on the increasing burden of NCDs. Experts have repeatedly outlined the need for India to systematically increase the current overall expenditure on health, with a special focus to increase public spend for NCDs which account for more 60 per cent of deaths in the country. - A policy shift from curative to preventive care can be the first step to check the rapidly growing numbers of diabetes and CVD patients in India - Adopting ‘Healthy Living’ as a social norm in the present scenario where unhealthy lifestyle and dietary habits prevail will help check diseases like diabetes and heart attack at the primary stage of onset. Some recommendations include introduction of behavioral changes at workplace. For instance, ban use of tobacco within office premises, provide gyms at workplaces or subsidize memberships at local gyms. Apert from that defined target for reduction of salt, sugar and transfat in mean population intake and devise an effective monitoring and surveillance framework. Healthy lifestyle can by promoted by introducing necessary shift in social behavior by encouraging voluntary exercise or yoga across all educational institutions. What are the various initiatives that PFCD is spearheading in India? Have there been any partnerships with various government agencies or other organizations? We have been working in India to act as a catalyst to bring together all the relevant stakeholders in order to find sustainable solutions and advocating the need for a holistic approach to address the growing disease burden. PFCD’s objective is to draw the attention of relevant stakeholders towards developing an innovative policy framework to effectively address and manage NCDs. We hosted four multi-stakeholder discussions in Ahmedabad, Chennai, New Delhi and Mumbai in 2014. The events saw participation from toplevel officials from the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare (MoH&FW) and the states. We have seen increasing participation and engagement from public health experts and policy analysts, senior doctors, patient groups, and pharmaceutical and diagnostic companies as well. A separate multi-stakeholder discussion on healthcare financing was also hosted in New Delhi in April BIOVOICENEWS.COM 25