Mumbai, 30th September 2020: Mr. M Venkaiah Naidu, Hon’ble Vice President of India today acknowledged the role of private hospitals in rising to the occasion and battling COVID-19. He also urged the private sector to take full advantage of the Atmanirbhar Abhiyan and give a fillip to the manufacturing of various medical devices.

Addressing the inaugural session of the three-day ‘FICCI HEAL-2020’ virtually, Mr. Naidu said, “We have to make available good quality healthcare, accessible and affordable to all. We must capitalize on the core competence of each stakeholder in the country. We must also draw best from the world to strengthen our healthcare delivery system.”

Mr. Naidu further urged the private sector to come forward and expand their footprint through public-private partnership and set-up modern healthcare facilities in the rural areas. “Private players have added to the capacity and capability of our healthcare system in the country. They will continue to play an important role in augmenting the infrastructure and skills in the sector. There has to be a collaborative effort from the industry and the civil society in supporting the government’s initiatives,” he emphasized.

Highlighting the potential of Atmanirbhar Bharat, the Vice President added that with the expansion of the healthcare sector, the public and private hospitals, the demand for pharmaceutical products, medical devices and equipment will increase in the coming years.

Mr. Naidu also complimented FICCI members who have not only been sharing the best practices and solutions to combat the pandemic but have been supporting the government in augmenting healthcare facilities. He appreciated the role of private hospitals by offering their facilities, manpower, and equipment in treatment of COVID and non-COVID patients during this crucial hour.

“The current pandemic has also created opportunities to transform our healthcare delivery system including new care delivery models with focus on preventive and primary care, use of advanced technologies, home care facilities,” he said.

Mr. Naidu said that the world’s largest health coverage program, the Ayushman Bharat, is now being expanded to every section of the country. “This would ensure that much larger section of uncovered population including informal sector workers are provided health coverage,” he said.

Emphasizing on the need of adopting the traditional Indian lifestyle, Mr. Naidu added that this pandemic has taught us the overriding importance of staying healthy, both physically and mentally. “We have to follow the concepts of ‘Dinacharya’ - daily regime and ‘Ritucharya’ - seasonal regime to maintain a healthy life. Fitness coupled with a balanced diet is essential to stave off illness. I suggest that Yoga and meditation should become part of daily time-table along with sports in schools and colleges once normalcy returns,” he stated.

Dr. Sangita Reddy, President, FICCI said, “At no other time in the world has health care been so centre stage. At no other time have the problems been so intense and required us to innovate, ideate and collaborate.”