Express Healthcare: Medical EMIs, frugal innovation in medical technology

"It is at a nascent stage but financing of medical treatment through EMIs has started. Patients can stagger their bill payments," said K Srivastava, VP, Marketing, Natco Pharma Ltd.

By: Express News Service | Hyderabad | Updated: March 5, 2016 9:40 pm

The two-day Healthcare Sabha organised by the Indian Express Group concluded on Saturday with delegates calling for frugal innovation in medical technology; to introduce skill enhancement programmes to bridge the workforce deficit; and work out a system of paying cancer and heart diseases and chronic illness treatment bills through medical financing or EMIs.

Earlier, delegates participated in a lively panel discussion on ‘Models of financing public healthcare’ in which Dr Prateek Rathi, Special Executive Office-ESI Scheme, Department of Health of Maharashtra; Kavita Singh, director NHM (Finance), Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare; and K Srivastava, VP, Marketing, Natco Pharma Ltd, participated.

“It is at a nascent stage but financing of medical treatment through EMIs has started. Patients can stagger their bill payments. EMIs are available for stents, pacemakers, cancer therapy and other chronic illness. In cancer, only 20 or 30 per cent patients can afford treatment. When cost of therapy limits choice of therapy EMIs are an option,” Srivastava said.

Patients can have access to devices like stents and pacemakers by paying just 15 per cent of cost and the rest can be paid in EMIs as low as Rs 1000 per month. In a panel discussion on the role of frugal innovations in medical technology, Dr Jitendar Kumar Sharma, Direcotor, WHO Collaborating Centre for Priority Medical Devices and Head, Division of Healthcare Technology, National Health Systems Resource Centre, Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare; Dr Pankaj Parashar, Direcotr MP Public Health Services Corporation Ltd, Mihir Shah, Founder and CEO, UE LifeSciences Inc; and Dr Yogesg Patil, COO, Biosense, spoke about their innovations.

Mihir Shah’s UE LifeSciences is developing easy-to-use tools for health workers. “Breast Cancer is disproportionately affecting all fast growing economies and developing regions around the world where healthcare resources are limited and organized mammography led screening is not possible. Early detection would bring about the largest impact towards improving survival, quality of life and reducing the burden of breast cancer. At UE LifeSciences, we are developing innovative yet affordable and easy-to-use tools that any healthworker or doctor can operate with basic training. The NoTouch BreastScan is an FDA cleared, contact-less and radiation-free, physiological breast imaging tool. It is suitable for women of all ages. The Intelligent Breast Exam tool is an  Innovative materials technology and mobile computing brought together in the form of an ultra-portable wireless breast scanner,” Mihir Shah said.

Here are the winners: 

Government of Chattisgarh won the award for the most efficiently run health programme by a state government at the Indian Express Group’s Public Health Awards 2016 held at the conclusion of Express Healthcare Sabha held at Hyderabad.

The award for most effective health technology system was bagged by Post-graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandihgarh and All-India Institute od Medical Sciences, Delhi, for operating an efficient online appointment system for OPD service, resulting in high levels of patient convenience and satisfaction.

Lifetime achievement award for contribution in public health went to SEARCH, Gadchiroli for path breaking contributions to community-based healthcare of children and women, with impactful research led programmes of health service delivery in a backward region of rural Maharashtra.

Jury choice award for corporate contributions to public health went to GVK-EMRI for providing emergency health transport services across the country, through an innovative PPP model and Piramal Swasthya Management Institute for providing health information helplines and mobile diagnostic services in several states through PPP models.

Jury choice award for socially responsive healthcare delivery by private institution went to Aravind Eye Care System, LV Prasad Eye Institute and Sankara Nethralaya for inspirational leadership in providing high quality eye care to millions through pro-poor services extending from hospitals to communities.

Most effective healthcare NGO award went to Nari O Shishu Kalyan Kendra, Howrah, for effective community action to overcome resistance to polio vaccination and routine imminisation, and increasing coverage rates through impactful behaviour change.

Most effective PPP by an autonomous institute went to HLL Lifecare Limited, Tamil Nadu for their exemplary initiative in producing low-cost sanitary napkins for promoting affordable menstrual hygiene for adolescent girls and women

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