Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) Science & Technology; Minister of State (Independent Charge) Earth Sciences; MoS PMO, Personnel, Public Grievances, Pensions, Atomic Energy and Space, Dr Jitendra Singh said, India under Prime Minister Narendra Modi has become one of the world’s most cost-effective healthcare destination, with the latest technology tools deployed, across care delivery.
Addressing the Healthcare Leaders Summit-2022 of the Economic Times, Dr Jitendra Singh said, more than 10 lakh medical visas were issued to foreigners between 2019 and 2022 and the country is fast emerging as the Medical Tourism Hub of the world. He said, this number is quite significant as there was almost complete ban on international travel during the pandemic. The Minister also pointed out that India has almost 600 globally and nationally accredited hospitals that provide world-class treatment in cost-effective manner.
Dr Jitendra Singh said, healthcare sector in India is expected to grow to reach a size of $50 billion by 2025, while the global medical tourism market is estimated to be worth about $72 billion. He said, India’s share in medical tourism is expected to be around 10 billion dollars by 2023. Moreover, the country is the world’s largest supplier of generic drugs, the Minister added.
Dwelling on the topic of the summit, “Building a Cohesive Healthcare Ecosystem in India through Proactive Government Initiatives” Dr Jitendra Singh pointed out that only last month, while inaugurating health facilities in Gujarat, Prime Minister Modi said, “If the heart and intention of the government are not filled with concern for the people’s problems, then the creation of suitable health infrastructure is not possible”. The Minister emphasised that the intention and policies of the government are in perfect alignment for creating affordable healthcare for all.
Dr Jitendra Singh said, ever since 2014, Modi Government is hand-holding in harnessing the enthusiasm of scientific brilliance and addressing the most pressing healthcare challenges of the current generation and being future-ready. He said, massive efforts are also on in building a robust life sciences ecosystem through science and research, which will in turn reduce health inequalities and build a clear road map on the continuing successes of vaccines, therapeutics and diagnostics. He said, the action plan laid out by the government to support healthcare stakeholders to create a vibrant healthcare ecosystem in the country is happening through funding, incentives, government and industry-academia partnership and incubation.
Dr Jitendra Singh pointed out that the whole world recognised India’s leadership role during COVID-19, as it achieved the rare feat of delivering over 220 crore vaccinations through a fully digital platform – COWIN and the process continues. Underlining the importance of vaccines as one of the most cost-effective health interventions for combating infectious, the Minister pointed out that during the pandemic, India played a crucial role in the rapid development and distribution of vaccines globally. Going forward, what are the evolving mechanisms for supporting end-to-end development and testing pipeline for vaccines by strengthening engagement between industry, academia and government, he added.
Dr Jitendra Singh said, the Proactive Government Initiatives as the topic of the Summit suggests can be best illustrated, as it was Modi again, who launched the StartUp India from the ramparts of Red Fort in 2015, and today we have more than 80,000 start-ups from 400 odd start-ups in 2014. He said, Prime Minister’s special focus on Science, Technology and Innovation has fired the imagination of the youth in the country to innovate and solve problems with new ideas and we have startups fast emerging in the fields like IT, agriculture, aviation, education, energy, health and space sectors.
Dr Jitendra Singh pointed out that at present there are over 4,000 healthtech startups in India spanning from platforms helping to monitor health conditions, apps using AI to detect illnesses and diseases, platforms connecting patients with doctors, and much more and hoped that this ecosystem will grow further and become the leading sector in the world.
Dr. Jitendra Singh concluded by saying that one can’t visualize India @2047 through the prism of 2022. He said, Narender Modi’s 8 years as Prime Minister gave India vision for 2047 and laid the roadmap for the next 25 years of Amrit Kal which would witness the ascent of India as a front-rank nation in the world in terms of best healthcare system.