A Look at Preventive Care Amidst Health Care Chaos

Published: Mar 26, 2018

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Don’t you think that the Indian Healthcare system is strongly biased towards the curative rather than the preventive care? In 2015-16, only 3% of the total budget was designated for the NCD (Non Communicable Diseases) Programs. Can you imagine that the budget for curative care is so diminishing, that the preventive care has been totally overshadowed? Don’t you think it needs to be changed?

Now, after the hospitals, the insurers have joined the preventive healthcare bandwagon. The insurance companies are offering medical checkups and discounts on medical purchases at various pharmacies to the customers who are covered under the insurance policies.

G. Srinivasan, the Chairman of New India Assurance quoted, “The wellness policies have done well in the group individual policies. We are now looking to extend this concept to individual covers as well as add-ons at an additional premium.”

Customers paying high health insurance premiums are looking for ad-ons. Traditionally, the preventive healthcare policies worked in full swings in the corporate sector and they prefer to use value-added offerings by the organized healthcare camps. The insurers also slate that such preventive healthcare services would help in ameliorating claim management and profitability. Thus, Companies should adopt a more holistic approach towards the health insurance .

Out of 14 lakh policy holders, 10% of the Bajaj’s health insurance customers have opted for preventive offerings that comprises of discounts on the preventive health care camps.

Moreover, here is the crux of variety of reasons to call for magnified focus on prevention.

•   India’s disease profile has changed drastically from communicable to non-communicable diseases in the past few years, which accounts for almost 60% of deaths in the country. These diseases are preventable, even after having a strong genetic connect, provided prevention is our focus.
•   Through the preventive measures, the resources our country can spare for health can be maximized, thus covering a larger section of people. The majority of the funds is used for reproduction, maternal and child health programmes. Therefore, more budgets should be allocated for the NCDs. Switching to a prevention format by stretching the resources further will bring about a considerable change.
•    If the patient-care policies are revised in a way that it comprises of the preventive-care measures, then this move will ultimately lower the costs of the insurance operations.

How can Preventive Services Steal the Show?
Preventive Services help in detecting a disease and aids in preventing the illness or other health issues. It completely depends upon your age, gender, medical history and your family history that what kind of preventive services you need. Some of the preventive services encompassed under the ACA (Affordable Care Act) include cervical cancer screening, HIV screening, blood pressure screening, and immunizations. The coverage for the preventive services varies from state to state, so one should review the services carefully before choosing the desired plan.

Pragmatic Steps
In order to make the preventive mindset to work, the youth should be targeted. It is very important to begin the interventions at the youth level, because only then a necessary shift in the social behavior will be witnessed. If I talk about some suggestions, then voluntary exercises or Yoga across all the educational institutions should be encouraged and also healthy food items must be chalked out by the renowned nutritionists.  Moreover, such things should be extensively communicated through social media and other mediums.

In order to prioritize the NCDs, strategic public-private partnerships must be tapped so as to attract active global involvement. 

It is like we, the government, the medical fraternity and the industries need to work in coordination to change the health status panorama in the country.

Author is a digital marketing consultant and editor of Smartechtoday & Srjnews   – an Indian online news websites.Read,share and discuss current & technology news from around the globe.


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