Health summit calls for more transparency in system

Stating that there was an increasing trust deficit between doctors and patients, Chairman of India Health Summit Aditya Vij on Wednesday emphasised on the need for healthcare providers to introduce more transparency in their systems.

Speaking at the CII India Health Summit, Vij said, "Patients are still suspicious of what the doctors charge them, especially in private set-ups. The next decade should be about creating a transparent and integrated healthcare system that inspires trust in the visitors."

The two-day summit saw prominent names in the healthcare sector discuss a host of issues related to the changing healthcare landscape in the country, and the many challenges it poses.

"A decade ago, a patient trusted the doctor with his illness. But that is changing because of the Internet. Now, doctors have to win a patient's trust, each time," Faisal Farooqi, Founder and CEO, mouthshut.com, said.

But, Shekhar Gupta, Editor-in-Chief of The Indian Express, felt that trust was not the real issue.

"In our country, we still trust our doctors. For many of us, they are like friends. But we also have a very knowledgeable consumer now, thanks to the Internet. What's missing is not trust, but patience among our practitioners, and it is this that we need to address," he said.

Another topic of discussion was the need for public and private players to come together to create an effective healthcare system in the country.

"Government hospitals are clearly not enough to meet the increasing healthcare needs. This is where the private players should step in. But that should be done in a spirit of collaboration, and not competition. For example, a possible solution for curtailing infrastructure costs is to make our own medical equipment. Private players should look at exploiting this opportunity," Keshav Desiraju, Secretary, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, said.

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