Chronic conditions including heart diseases, cancer, strokes, diabetes and hypertension are the leading cause of deaths in India. They account for 60% of the total number of deaths in the country. The health ministry's statistics reveal that chronic conditions cost India between 4-10% of the gross domestic product (GDP) in terms of lost productivity.
Hoping to bridge this gap in healthcare, Minister of State for Science and Technology Y.S. Chowdary launched the country's first 'Center for Control of Chronic Condition' in New Delhi. It is an international partnership between Delhi's AIIMS, US-based Emory University, the London School for Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and the Public Health Foundation of India (PHFI).
Minister Chowdary said, "The Indian government has always lacked a master blueprint for the development of healthcare in the country. But the Center for Control of Chronic Condition will bridge the gap that has existed till now in the country. Healthcare conditions in the rural parts of the country were so bad that doctors could not even diagnose the patients' problems. There are situations where there are doctors who get their graduation degrees without even having the capability of doing the basic diagnosis, in such a situation the patients have to suffer. This center will help the people in getting awareness about the problems they suffer from."
Through the establishment of the institution, the stakeholders will generate world class knowledge which can impact policy and practice aimed at reducing the burden of chronic conditions in the country. Srinath Reddy, president of PHFI, said, "It was a landmark day for Indian healthcare as the task of handling chronic conditions by doctors would be made much easier."