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Govt to upgrade 39 more medical colleges as super-specialty hospitals
In view of the expected growth of the Indian healthcare industry to US $ 160 billion by 2017 from the present level of US $80 billion, the Union Government has decided to undertake upgradation of 39 more medical colleges as super-speciality hospitals to provide state- of-the art tertiary healthcare, said Ms. Santosh Chaudhry Minister of State for Health and Family Welfare.

Addressing the session on 'HealthCare Opportunities in India' at the Pravasi Bhartiya Divas celebrations, the minister informed that 19 government medical colleges have been upgraded as super speciality hospitals during the last 6-7 years . More than Rs 1,11,000 crore have also been released by the Central Government to 35 state governments and Union Territories in the last few years, she said.

Elaborating on the rural and urban health missions of government, Ms Chaudhry said, "Nearly 51,000 health facilities have been created, including new construction and upgradation work to improve public heath infrastructure. More than 70,000 beds have been added in government health institutions to provide essential and emergency services across the country."

The minister said that in 12th Plan period, the government would strengthen initiatives to provide Universal Health Coverage (UHC) in the country , giving access to essential range of medicines and treatments for the population.

For the overall development of AYUSH services, educational institutions, quality control of drugs and medicinal plants, the government was planning to implement a National AYUSH Mission through which traditional systems of medicines were intended to play a critically important role in UHC, she pointed out.

Ms Sangita Reddy, Executive Director, Apollo Hospitals, while presiding over the session said that the mismatch between demand and supply of healthcare has grown exponentially. This needed to be addressed urgently so that the growing gap is bridged and India is able service health requirements of the people.

Over the past few years, India made significant achievements in the field of healthcare but lot more needed to be done through the public private partnership route, she said.

Dr Jayesh B Shah MD and President,AAPI , USA, in his observations, said that a good number of doctors of Indian origin serving in USA have begun to treat patients in India whenever possible through various pilot projects one such SEVAK launched in Ahmedabad. The doctors in USA have sense of belonging and they feel that it was now their turn to serve their motherland with altruistic purpose.

Dr Ashok Seth, Chairman, Fortis Escorts Hearts Institute, talked about rising opportunities in the healthcare sector which could be tapped with joint efforts of the government and the private sector. The policies exist to creating infrastructure facilities required to address health issues  but actions were missing for which  blame did not lie with government alone, felt Dr Seth.

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