Project on Universal Healthcare coverage for the poor and elderly launched successfully in Varanasi

Project on Universal Healthcare coverage for the poor and elderly launched successfully in Varanasi


In order to make the Healthcare Delivery System accountable and accessible to the poor and the elderly citizens in India a Pilot Initiative in Varanasi was launched and a National Consultation with Experts from India & Overseas was organised from 09-11 August 2015 in collaboration with Government of India, Mata Anandamayee Hospital, Consumer Online Foundation and Partnership for Safe Medicines India Initiative patientsafetyaccess.org The event was attended by 150+ delegates in Varanasi.


Partnership for Safe Medicines (PSM) India signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) for establishing a centre of excellence on 'Patient Safety and Accessibility to Quality Healthcare' with the Indian Institute of Technology, Banaras Hindu University (BHU) to achieve the goal of universal health coverage (UHC) through efficient use of resources and technology.

The MoU was signed by chairman of PSM India Initiative and also former Union chief information commissioner Wajahat Habibullah and dean (Research and Development), IIT-BHU, Prof P K Jain during a three-day national consultation on 'Improving Access to Quality Healthcare' through "UHC: Varanasi Initiative" at a hotel in cantonment area on Monday.

The goal of full health care coverage is based on profiling the health of at least 100,000 poor and senior citizens of Varanasi in the next one year.

"All the activities conducted under the project will be documented and information emerging from the initiative will be used for conducting research and development on Patient Safety and Accessibility to Quality Healthcare by the faculty and students of IIT-BHU," founder director of PSM, Bejon Misra told to TOI. The Centre will come up at department of pharmaceutics, IIT-BHU and a working group will be constituted for the same, he added.

Prof Jain said that the varsity is ready to extend all its help and support for a noble cause as this is to implement UHC. The drugs controller general of India Dr G N Singh also expressed his desire to set up a drug testing lab at IIT-BHU on the occasion.

"The healthcare indicators of our country are among the worst among developing countries, despite it being one of the world's fastest growing economies during the past decades. The consumer organizations like us have been demanding for increase in number of resources in the healthcare sector since the last three decades for quality healthcare of people without shelling out money from their pockets," Misra said.

To achieve this, we came up with the idea of involving group of stakeholders through public-private partnership (PPP) wherein our focus would be complete healthcare coverage and improvement in preventive healthcare services by ensuring adequate availability of expert doctors in rural areas surrounding Varanasi, he added.

Misra informed that Mata Anandmayee Hospital has been selected for consultative care services along with other facilities. Citing the areas of activities, Misra said, "The activities for the first year will focus on improving the processes and the systems to increase accessibility to safe and quality healthcare to at least 100,000 citizens of the holy city identified as below poverty line (BLP) citizens or as senior citizens. They will then be provided with a digitized health card to enable seamless accessibility to preventive and urgent healthcare."

Based on the outcomes and benefit perceived by the patients of Varanasi, the project will be scaled up in city to ensure sustainability on a public private partnership mode and replicated in other locations starting from July next.

Meanwhile, several discussions on concept sharing and setting the agenda and objective of consultation, keynote addresses on 'situational analysis', 'use of modern technology as enabler for patients to access transparent and accountable healthcare without compromising on safety and quality', 'implementation of healthcare reforms' and 'last mile delivery of essential healthcare services in rural areas and small towns' as well as plenary sessions on the aforementioned subjects were held on the occasion.

PSM India is a coalition of consumer organizations, patient, physician, pharmacist, university, industry and other professional organizations committed to the safety of prescription drugs and protecting consumers against unapproved, spurious, counterfeit, substandard, falsified, mishandled or otherwise unsafe medicines.

Source : Times of India


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