"The new National Health Protection Scheme has the potential not only to improve health but to help lift people out of poverty," said Ghebreyesus at an official gathering of health officials and experts at the NITI Aayog.
‘To get the best returns on investment, it will be important to focus on quality of services, especially in primary health care, and to prioritise those who are most disadvantaged.’
"The reforms which India is embarking on are bold, and they must be." He, however, also said the government should tread with proper caution, learning with international experience but using home-grown solutions.
Outlining the three crucial precautions the Indian government must take, Ghebreyesus said, "To get best returns on investment, it is important to focus on the quality of services, especially in primary health care, and to prioritize those who are most disadvantaged - enormous gains can be made relatively cheaply in these groups." "Second, it is important to equip and empower nurses and other mid-level health workers, who can carry much of the burden of providing care if they are given right training and permission. Since nurses are mostly women, investments need to be made in health as well as gender equality," he said.
By Pointing out how private sector plays an important role in India's healthcare system, where more than 70% people are seeking care at private facilities, he said.
"Regulation is important to ensure profits do not come before people." "With the right safeguards, private providers will be crucial partners on the road to universal health coverage," Ghebreyesus said.