New Delhi, Aug 18

Supporting the efforts to address rising costs of health care, health experts on Friday however noted that the government, with a limited understanding of the health care providers' expenses, may not be accurately reflecting their pricing positions.

On the final day of the two-day Ficci Health Conference 2017, they held that the most favourable outcomes can be achieved through a multi-stakeholder collaborative approach towards identifying real solutions for delivering high quality, affordable, and effective health care. They also sought higher investment in the sector.

"Almost 70 per cent of health care delivery happens in private sector and is dominated by the health care services that is hospitals, labs, physicians and other services.. Policies by the government should be focused on disease handling and must view health care in totality.

"Reducing prices to increase accessibility will not bear fruit till the time real barrier to access such as infrastructure and manpower constraints are not addressed," said Varun Khanna, co-chair of the business chamber's Health Services Committee.

Panellists at the session titled "New wave of transparency pricing in health care" said that adopting strategies to provide clarity in pricing is crucial to increase patient engagement, safeguard the doctor-patient relationship and optimize revenue in a health ecosystem.

They called on decision makers for the health system to have a clear understanding of the long-term objective and define an appropriate road map to achieve it.

Fortis Health Care President Daljit Singh said that the health care sustainability model is very complex and needs to invest in talent, technology and infrastructure, but held that the recent actions by the government "are giving rise to uncertainty and lack of predictability as we do not have clarity about the government's intentions".

National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority Chairman Bhupendra Singh, who was also present, said that the government understands the need to have a multi-pronged strategy and wants to create a win-win situation to bring affordability to all and for this, price control may not be the most desirable approach.

Two recent moves by NPPA, which has affected private health care providers in India, are the slashing of prices for cardiac stents and knee implants.

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