Archive for November, 2013

Nita Ambani: Corporates need to put in more efforts in the Healthcare Sector

November 21, 2013

Reliance Foundation Chairperson Nita Ambani has delivered a strong message to corporates regarding involvement in the healthcare sector. She has urged them get more involved in this sector and join hands with the government to increase the reach of healthcare to the masses.

India is one of the oldest civilizations in the world. She has contributed immensely to various including science. It is shocking that a country like India should be facing severe healthcare crunches at a very basic level. We face big hurdles such as including shortage of doctors and inadequate healthcare infrastructure, in providing universal access to healthcare.

Take for example the number of child deaths and infant mortality in India. Approximately 1.72 million children die each year before turning one. The under five mortality and infant mortality rates have been declining, from 202 and 190 deaths per thousand live births respectively in 1970 to 64 and 50 deaths per thousand live births in 2009. Most of these maternal, neonatal and infant deaths can be prevented or averted by timely intervention not just by government but also civil society and the corporate sector.

Commenting on the same, Nita Ambani said, “This will require forging smart and sustainable partnerships with each other and demolishing sectoral barriers to act as one for the national agenda.”

An alarming statistic is that there is less than one hospital bed per 1000 people and equally shocking is the lack of qualified doctors – one per 1700 people. “This is an unacceptable ratio by any standard. We have a critical need to change this scenario. There is a need to build medical educational institutions and bring in new technology to close this enormous gap, directly and indirectly,” she said.

Ambani continued that there was an imperative need to bring new technology into the sector on a mass scale and make it affordable. Growth and improvement in this field can only be achieved by making top class facilities and infrastructure available at a price-point that is within the reach of most people. “The solution lies not only in bringing more people to hospitals, but bringing the hospitals to people. The Reliance Foundation is developing a world-class multi-speciality hospital in Mumbai, which will have a patient centric approach and support services. This hospital will be launched soon,” she added.

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