Government's healthcare effort can prevent emergence of destructive monopolies: NHA CEO

The CEO of the National Health Authority said that the government is working actively towards collaborating with startups to democratise healthcare.

Government's healthcare effort can prevent emergence of destructive monopolies: NHA CEO

Friday October 14, 2022,

2 min Read

The government's effort to facilitate affordable healthcare is a step towards preventing individual healthcare companies from creating monopolies that could prove destructive to the ecosystem, RS Sharma, CEO of the National Health Authority (NHA), Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, said in the keynote address at NASSCOM's Product Conclave 2022.

Sharma reiterated that healthcare startups and the government must work in unison to democratise how medical services are offered to the public, alongside making it affordable and equitably distributed.

The keynote address dived deep into the Unified Health Interface (UHI) and how its interoperable nature will help create a framework "as seamless as the Unified Payments Interface (UPI)". He further added that healthcare in the present moment is at an inflexion point and UHI is expected to be a game changer in terms of accessibility.

The UHI intends to combine the efforts of several digital health platforms into one to create a comprehensive source of health services, Sharma noted.

UHI was launched in January this year under the Ayushman Bharat Digital Mission and aims to popularise an open and interoperable IT infrastructure for digital health in India. This includes establishing a common platform for telecommunication, commerce and other healthcare facilities like purchasing medicines and booking doctor appointments.

"We are working towards setting up a platform for teleconsultation where patients can connect with doctors conveniently. This way patients need not go to different platforms for different needs," Sharma said at NASSCOM's event.

He also urged health startups to leverage the vast expanse of digital health records and registries available to create better quality services. This includes records of licenses, drugs, doctors, and other healthcare professionals.

"I am certain the government, startups, and the public can come together to contribute to India's digital health journey," Sharma said.

Edited by Megha Reddy