New Delhi, Aug 17

As many as 61 per cent of Indian patients, taking part in a survey, expressed a positive experience in private health care compared to only 39 per cent in government hospitals, said a knowledge report released on Thursday.

Prepared by business chamber Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry (Ficci) Heal and research organisation KANTAR-IMRB, the report, based on interviews of 5,000 patients across the country from both private and public hospitals, was unveiled by Health Secretary C.K Mishra.

Delving into the experiences and expectations of the patient to provide recommendations for the government and health care providers, the report also emphasised on increasing financial resources in the primary health care centres across the country.

It noted that the metropolitan cities of Mumbai, Chennai and Delhi take the lead on delivering patient satisfaction, over Hyderabad, Bengaluru and Kolkata.

It also underlined the need for investing two-thirds of the spending in primary health care and enhancing preventive care to keep the requirement of diagnostic care and admission to hospitals in check.

In his address on the occasion, Mishra said: "As financial resources are limited, it is essential to invest in the right place for optimal results."
Stating that infrastructure in remote areas was weak and only government establishments were functional in such places, he said: "Active private sector participation was needed to make quality and affordable health care accessible to all."
Mishra also urged Ficci to develop a framework in conjunction with the government to step the country's health care delivery system.

On the occasion FICCI also urged the government to increase health budget to 4 per cent of the GDP from current 1.3 per cent.

"Government's intent to increase the public health spend to 2.5 per cent, efforts should be made to increase it to 4 per cent of GDP to meet the universal health care goals of the country," the chamber's President Pankaj Patel.

According to Patel, long-term financing options from banks are still not available to health care providers and this was hampering the penetration of private health care in the country.

"While retention of health care services in the tax exemption list under the GST regime is thoughtful and will enable flow of seamless tax credit and improve overall tax compliance, the services rendered by the hospital are exempted from taxes, several input services are subject to GST, which will result in increase in overall cost of care for the patient," he said.

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