HYDERABAD: Highlighting the shortcomings of the public healthcare system in the country, Narayana Murthy, Founder of Infosys, said that the government should invest strongly in the field since it was the most important facet of the development of the nation.
Delivering a keynote address at BioAsia 2017, Mr. Murthy pointed out that India lagged behind not only the developed nations but also its neighbouring countries like Sri Lanka and Bangladesh in public healthcare.
He said that though infant mortality rate has reduced over the years, the Millennium Development Goals have still not been met. Low immunisation ratio and high number of diarrhoea deaths are still a cause for concern in the country, he said. High levels of stunting among children, new threats like TB, malaria and dengue and anti-microbial resistance are the challenges that have to be tackled by the government, he added. He said that with common diseases accounting for 60% of the deaths in the country, there was huge implication in terms of national productivity.
Talking about the shortage of medical professionals, he said that the requirement of physicians, nurses and technicians was huge and this might hamper access to healthcare and technology can enable to overcome the serious shortfalls in human resources.
Role of technology
He pitched for a unified health management system that will include data collection, early warning and response systems. He opined that if such a system was introduced, multiple analysis of health can be eased out. He said that the technology can play a vital role in saving the cost and improving the quality of healthcare and also act as an interface between a patient and a physician. He cited the examples of the institutions Arvind Eye Care hospital, Narayana Hrudalaya and Trinethra for their use of science and technology in the field of healthcare to cater to the community.