Kochi: The Centre would permit overseas Indian doctors to practise in the country without undergoing screening tests, Union Health Secretary PK Pradhan said on Wednesday. In what is viewed as the first major impact of the ongoing Global Healthcare Summit, Pradhan said the Centre was ready with the bill to amend the Medical Council of India (MCI) Act and allow overseas Indians to practise in their homeland as demanded by the expatriate professionals for long.
"We expect to bring the bill during the Budget Session of Parliament," he said, addressing the CEO Forum held as part of the three-day healthcare summit which began on Tuesday. The high-profile Forum, attended by top brass from the industry and senior officials from the Centre and the state, also decided to workout modalities to broaden the PPP by tapping into the strengths of both the sides.
It was the first time such a face-to-face meeting between the regulatory authorities and the industry captains in the history of the global summit. Soliciting ideas and partnerships from the private sector, Pradhan said the government was planning to improve the secondary care by upgrading the district hospitals. "There is a huge scope for partnership with the private sector in the areas like diagnostic services and labs. We will encourage district hospitals to run medical college campuses to augment the capacity in PG education and private players can help in this area," he said.
Welcoming enterprising ideas from private practitioners, Director General of Health Services Dr Jagadish Prasad urged the private sector hospitals to reserve 10 per cent of services free of cost to the poor people under the corporate responsibility and in a bid to make the healthcare accessible.
Chairing the session, Advisor to the Prime Minister TKA Nair wanted both the Government and the private sector players to prepare a roadmap to ensure make accessible affordable drugs and healthcare to the people. He offered to work as link and further frame a mechanism to take the initiative further.
In his key-note address, Chairman and CEO of Medtronic Omar Ishrak expressed keen interest to work with other stakeholders and build collaborative partnerships to increase access and quality healthcare.
Managing director of Sami Labs Dr Muhammed Majeed who is respected as a patron of Ayurveda in the United States said his company was inspired by Ayurveda, the mother of all sciences.
"We have developed two natural drugs: one for glaucoma and another for treating psoriasis first time in the country. Three other drugs are in the pipeline," he said. DM Healthcare chairman Dr Azad Moopen suggested that the forum should be utilized to firm up concrete partnership, to begin with the idea of setting up medical colleges in each district. To achieve the inclusive growth, he also called upon the government to think of levying Sin tax on alcohol and even on soft drinks to part-finance a proper social insurance scheme.
Among those to attend the high-profile meet were Device Controller of India Dr Eswara Reddy, Chairman of Medical Council of India Dr KK Talwar, Principal Health Secretary in Kerala Shri Rajeev Sadanandan, Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences medical director Dr Prem Nair, president of American Medical Association Dr Jeremy Lazarus, Health Attache from US Embassy in Delhi Mr Stevan Smith, Dr Rajan Badwe of Tata Institute, Dr Philip Augustine of Lakeshore Hospital, Mr Bob Miglani of Pfizer, Dr KM Cherian of Frontier Healthcare and Dr Neal Simon of American University of Antigua.