New Delhi (ISJ): Leading healthcare providers on Wednesday (Oct 23) came together on a common platform to provide improved access and quality healthcare services closer to every Indian. Nathealth, is a unified voice of stakeholders in healthcare, modeled on the lines of NASSCOM. It seeks to create an environment to fund long-term growth, help develop and optimize healthcare infrastructure and encourage innovation. The body will also advice government to shape policy and regulations, bridge the skill and capacity and support best practices as also promote accreditation.

Currently, Healthcare Federation of India (Nathealth) consists of 46 members like Apollo Hospitals, Fortis Healthcare, Medanta the Medicity, Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital, Religare Health Insurance, Max Bupa Health Insurance.

Releasing a White Paper on "Enabling access to long-term finance for healthcare in India", Dr. Nandakumar Jairam, Chairman and Group MD of Columbia Asia Hospitals, Anuj Gulati of Religare Health Insurance and Dr. Sujata Rao, President of the Association of Medical Consultants, said India requires a capital investment of Rs. 162,500 crores to meet its projected bed requirement of 6,50,000 by 2017. The said, India?s healthcare infrastructure currently is concentrated in 20 major cities and sought government intervention to set up a healthcare infrastructure fund (HIF) to bridge the gap.
The White Paper revealed, cardiac diseases and cancer have emerged the top two causes of mortality in India and access to cancer care is the biggest challenge to India?s healthcare providers. About 70 per cent of people diagonised with cancer die in the first year itself, says the White Paper. Despite about 1.2 million newly diagonised cancer patients every year, there are only around 325 comprehensive cancer centres in the country. The paper said, India is battling with the dual burden of communicable and non-communicable diseases simultaneously.
Nathealth called for joint efforts by public and private players to put in place six key enablers like creation of a government corpus for a healthcare infrastructure fund, allowing business trusts and real estate investment trusts in healthcare, setting up a nodal agency for healthcare, transparent and viable pricing formula for reimbursement, standardizing collateral and exit clauses for PPP projects and enhancing financial access through Universal Health Coverage.