World Health Day 2023
Marking the 75th anniversary of the WHO, World Health Day 2023 will focus on the theme, ‘Health for All.’ Experts opine on the commitment to making sure that every patient has access to the best care possible
Health equity is a fundamental human right. At Elekta, we firmly believe that every individual, regardless of personal identity, social determinants of health or other individual characteristics, is entitled to optimal health, including access to cancer care. As a leading innovator of precision radiation therapy solutions, we are committed to making sure that every patient has access to the best cancer care possible.
To achieve this, it is necessary to prioritise diversity and inclusion in all aspects of cancer care, from research and development to strategy, delivery and implementation. Today, digital modules and AI-powered technologies are being leveraged at both ends – the patient and the provider. This digital technology ensures that there is participation in care by the patient and predictive proactive actions for treatment systems, thus resulting in better and consistent patient care. Such adaptive and intelligent technology developed by Elekta ensures the best cancer treatment affected the Indian population.
As we work towards ‘Health for all’, this World Health Day, 2023, Elekta will continue to contribute towards building robust cancer care infrastructure and support treatment availability, accessibility, and affordability for patients from all walks of life. We will continue to pursue this through multiple public and private partnership models, public-private collaboration, patient empowerment and innovation that are in play. Through these endeavours, Elekta will bring the most advanced radiotherapy treatment options to the public, closing the cancer care gap and continue working towards health equity for all.
Everyone should be aware of kidney disease, especially those with risk factors for it such as diabetes, hypertension, heart disease, obesity, or a family history of kidney disease. Knowing one is at risk is the first step towards a healthier life. For those with high-risk factors such as diabetes, hypertension, or obesity, I recommend getting kidney function checked regularly. In addition, to help prevent kidney disease, there are a few daily choices we can all make. Keep fit, be active, eat a healthy diet, and stay hydrated. It’s also important to stay mindful of your blood sugar and blood pressure and not smoke or take over-the-counter non-steroidal anti-inflammatory pills regularly. Although these seem like small changes, they can significantly impact your overall health. On this World Health Day, St George’s University School of Medicine and I come together to build awareness for a brighter, healthier future for all.
The healthcare industry is experiencing a surge in digital transformation, driven by the COVID-19 pandemic, widespread adoption of Internet and smartphones, and government efforts such as the National Digital Health Mission and Make in India. This rapid digitisation is paving the way for innovative solutions in healthcare and is expected to create numerous opportunities for companies and manufacturers in the sector. As digital innovation continues to gather momentum, patients are likely to benefit from improved outcomes.
India’s healthcare system faces numerous challenges including a large population (1.4 billion estimated in 2023), social and gender disparities, geographical gaps, and a shortage of resources (the ratio of allopathic doctors to people is 1:1511 and the number of registered nurses is 3.3 million). The digitization of India’s healthcare system is a crucial step towards overcoming these challenges. The Indian government is planning to establish a National Health Stack to bring all major stakeholders under one roof and facilitate the collection of comprehensive healthcare data electronically. This will reduce costs, save time, enable better monitoring, and improve patient outcomes. The portability of this data could even help prevent the outbreak of diseases and viruses. Moreover, this could also benefit pharmaceutical companies, laboratories, and medical device manufacturers to address the long-standing healthcare challenges and create innovative solutions for improved healthcare in the country.
India has become a favourable environment for the growth of an ecosystem consisting of AI, robotics, telemedicine, electronic health records, IoT, and digital therapeutics, thanks to the various initiatives and incentives provided by the government, as well as changing patient demands. This ecosystem can help India plan a successful path for the future and guarantee access to healthcare for everyone.
Health problems are alarmingly increasing across the globe due to several factors such as genetic predisposition, sedentary lifestyle, lack of medical infrastructure, and diagnostic scarcity among others. Every year on World Health Day, medical facilitators globally sensitise people about the importance of timely and accurate diagnosis and encourage them to adopt preventive measures to curb the menace of rising health concerns. This year’s theme ‘Health for All’ represents the gravity of addressing growing health problems like heart attacks, tuberculosis, diabetes and kidney ailments among other debilitating diseases. We are aware of India’s plight of being overburdened with diseases which can be reversed by implementing efficacious and tangible diagnostic facilities that are economically viable.
The government is currently diligently combating the escalating numbers of patients contracting communicable and non-communicable diseases, particularly in the aftermath of COVID-19. Patients are also concerned about lingering symptoms, rendering them more susceptible to numerous ailments. The World Health Organization’s data indicate that Tuberculosis (TB), which is the second most lethal infectious disease after Covid-19, followed by HIV/AIDS, necessitates urgent attention. Additionally, the proliferation of antimicrobial resistance (AMR), which the WHO recently declared a global health and development threat during the COVID-19 pandemic crisis, is seriously impeding the government’s and healthcare providers’ efforts to eradicate the disease at the grassroots level through dedicated programmes and initiatives like the National Tuberculosis Elimination Program. To contain TB and its impact, it is imperative to provide patients with TB diagnostic kits like MDR-TB, which can promptly detect drug resistance. There is no doubt that TB, along with other communicable diseases, is a significant concern worldwide, and it necessitates an aggressive diagnostic approach, particularly in India.
— Dr Pavan Asalapuram, Co-founder, EMPE Diagnostics
Preventive health screening offers many benefits, including early detection, health risk assessment, cost-effectiveness, improved quality of life, and personalised care. Early detection can lead to successful treatment, reduce the risk of complications, and save significant healthcare costs. Moreover, health risk assessment through preventive health screening can help individuals understand their current health status and risk factors for various diseases. This knowledge can enable them to make informed decisions about their lifestyle and healthcare choices.
Personalised care is another advantage of preventive health screening, as healthcare providers can tailor care to an individual’s specific needs and risk factors. This approach can result in more effective treatment and better health outcomes. Preventive health screening is a low-cost and effective way to add extra years to one’s life and promote better health outcomes. It is critical to raise awareness about the benefits of preventive health screening and encourage people to make it a regular part of their healthcare routine. By doing so, we can build a fairer and healthier world for everyone.
Deepak Tuli, Co-Founder & COO, Eka Care
We must acknowledge that achieving the abha, or splendour, of good health is not an unattainable goal. Thanks to the advent of digitisation and the implementation of ABHA, India’s health ID system, we are better equipped to ensure that each individual has access to quality healthcare services. India, with limited resources and an unequal distribution of healthcare facilities, is often plagued by a poor doctor-patient ratio, which causes considerable strain on the healthcare system. Therefore, the implementation of ABHA can help streamline the management of healthcare services.
Digital technologies enable the creation and management of electronic health records, making it easier to store and share patient information across healthcare providers. Additionally, digitisation enables data-driven decision-making, improving healthcare outcomes by allowing healthcare providers to monitor patient health in real-time, identify potential issues accurately, and provide personalised treatments. Let us celebrate World Health Day by recognising the potential of digital health technologies to help us achieve our goal of good health for all.
This year’s World Health Day theme ‘Health for all’ is not just a slogan, but a fundamental human right that must be upheld and always defended. On this day, we must reiterate our commitment to ensuring that every person, regardless of their age, gender, ethnicity, or socio-economic status, has access to quality healthcare services. Universal healthcare coverage is the key to achieving health for all. It is our collective responsibility to ensure that no one is left behind when it comes to accessing essential health services.
We must work towards building strong and resilient health systems that can deliver quality healthcare services to all people, particularly those in marginalised and underserved communities. Previously, while most developed countries provided health insurance to their citizens, India was the sole exception. Alongside, healthcare in India was limited to India’s most affluent citizens; however, the situation is now changing. As Indians, we have always assumed that the issue is related to healthcare infrastructure, but it is one of accessibility and affordability. So, to make healthcare more affordable, the Government of India devised various schemes and policies in each state that allow the underprivileged to access the health services they require without fear of financial hardship. As a result, people now come to the hospital for free treatment. Currently, Ayushman Bharat, Swasthya Sathi, and other state government schemes in India provide insurance coverage to the poorest 40 per cent of the population.
World Health Day provides an opportunity to spotlight important health issues that affect our communities. This year’s theme ‘health for all’ is reflective of our organisation’s commitment towards patients, and our role in constantly developing innovative solutions and products, especially in areas with immense unmet medical needs like non-communicable diseases and women’s health. The pharmaceutical industry should work collaboratively to address this need and preserve the health of the patients, while also improving accessibility to these solutions. The government’s boost to research and development in this year’s budget provides an opportunity for pharma companies to harness new-age technologies and bolster R&D efforts in the country.