PANAJI: Stating that medical tourism is still not tapped in Goa, Health Minister Vishwajit Rane said that the State government is looking at formulating a policy for medical tourism in the next two years.
“We want to convert every primary health centre (PHC) and community health centre (CHC) into a wellness hub and this is the way forward. Medical tourism is still not tapped in the State of Goa. So we want to have a think tank. We have had a discussion briefly with the CII also to help us in what is the way forward and give us suggestions on how we could actually capitalise for the next two years and frame a policy for medical tourism,” said Vishwajit. “Actually we don’t need a policy. We just need to move forward and implement this in a different way,” he said.
He was speaking at the conference organised by Goa Institute of Management (GIM) in Panaji on the theme - Accelerating and Sustaining Investments for Financing India’s Healthcare Needs. Speaking further, Rane highlighted the importance of public-private-partnership (PPP) model. “I believe that PPP is important. It has to be integrated. Primary and secondary care can be taken care of by the government and for tertiary care, the private sector can come in. This is how we need to have a model in which we can create a successful integration. Volume is also required. If volume is not there no private players will come forward to tie up with any institution however much you publicise,” he said.
Rane also said that Goa has been the first in many healthcare initiatives and is successfully implementing the Deen Dayal Swasthya Seva Yojana (DDSSY) Scheme.
“There are challenges but there have also been learnings. I welcome suggestions and learnings where we can improve. I request GIM to suggest solutions to us from time to time and be a knowledge partner to the health department. We look towards GIM to offer us researched suggestions, solutions and guidance,” he said.
Speaking on the occasion, NITI Aayog advisor Alok Kumar said, “There are drastic differences in the health systems across states within our country. We have a highly fragmented healthcare system. Therefore, for us to believe that an identical approach will work across the country is an ambitious thought. State governments need to be more proactive on finding solutions to the healthcare needs prevalent in the state and cannot expect strategy to be outsourced to the Centre. Secondly we need to elevate the approach from being schematic to be systemic. There needs to be a certain elevation from being mere schemes to creating effective systems. Thirdly the roles within the health ministry ecosystem need to be clearly defined.”