Healthcare Webinar – Impact of Covid-19 on Indian Economy and Healthcare Sector
Afzal Kamal would like to thank Mr. Thomas Schlitt and everyone for their presence and to attend this webinar. He also thankful to Medical Fair India specially Surajit Bit (Director Projects) and their Team for joining hands to create a series for the healthcare industry. Also, it is a proud privilege that MedicAlliance is supporting this initiative.
As we know that The novel coronavirus pandemic has resulted in unimaginable loss to the global economy and the loss of human lives has been unprecedented in an era of global peace.
Under complete lockdown less than a quarter of India’s $2.8 trillion economy is functional. We are expected to lose over Rs 32,000 crore ($4.5 billion) every day during the lockdown.
The Indian economy is expected to languish in the 1% to 2% zone next year. When the crisis ends, and when the economy starts running again, the first few countries to get off the starting block will be at an advantage.
As a media stakeholder in the healthcare industry I see both positive movements and challenges in the road ahead. Therefore, I believe a platform like this creates an opportunity to understand and anticipate the real status.
Having said this, the set of experts today who have gladly agreed to share their views are the real heroes who can enlighten us on the current situation. This is just a beginning and we would be bringing more episodes for all of you in the coming days.
Under complete lockdown, the healthcare sector is at the epicenter of the unprecedented global challenge of Covid-19. Therefore, we as a stakeholder to the industry thought to bring a series of updates for the Healthcare sector along with the support of our partner Medgate Today. Thank you Afzal Kamal. The objective of this initiative is to empower a platform where our leading industry stakeholders enable the fraternity with a series of updates pertaining to the current situation. The 1st of this Industry series is designed on the theme “IMPACT OF COVID -19 ON INDIAN ECONOMY AND HEALTHCARE SECTOR. A rich discussion with lot of positive takeaways was as expected. Our objective is to build the most significant community along with our partners in the Indian Healthcare Industry. Please stay tuned for our next set of webinar and we expect to receive your continued support- Mr. Thomas Schlitt, Managing Director, Messe Dusseldorf India Pvt. Ltd.
“The topic is relevant since if you go back to the first day of curfew, all the industries were temporarily in lockdown. Healthcare was made an exception, but with very limited access which lead to very few clinics being open & elative surgeries being pushed back. Thus, there was a 25% – 30% drop in the hospital occupancy, putting a huge pressure on the hospitals & patients.” said, Dr. Girdhar Gyani, Director General Association of Healthcare Providers India (AHPI) and Advisor to Government of India
“Pandemic is above all public health emergency & businesses can’t be rapidly brought back to normalcy. Thus, this is leading us to health emergency & financial emergency. We need to work together to revive our different sectors during this national emergency.” said, Prof. M Wali, Padma Awardee & Physician to the Former Presidents of India
“The current economic reality has created a scenario of gloom & caution & negatively impacted the mind of people towards less budget & expenses. However, every dark cloud has a silver living. This provides India an opportunity to grow. Increase in COVID-19 testing kit gives major opportunity to IVD segment & treatment segments which can branch out globally.” said, Mr. Jatin Mahajan, Managing Director, J Mitra & Co. Ltd.
Domestic manufacturers are looking for other alternative sources for these imports including raw material and electronic components. Indian government should also take measures to reduce import dependency as it may take longer for the country to come out of this threat. On the other hand, this could be an opportunity for India to become a hub of global medical device manufacturing empowering its local players said, Mr. Himashu Baid, Managing Director – Poly Medicure Ltd.
“An unprecedented time & we are going through a tough situation. 2020 is a rough patch. It’s more than a month of lockdown, which has helped us to keep the people safe, but if this continues it will hit the economy tragically. Almost 30% of India’s population are daily wage earners, who might not die from COVID- 19 but due to hunger.” said, Dr. Naveen Nishchal, Chairman of Voice of Healthcare (VOH), Co-Founder Meddo- Networks for Clinics & Cygnus Hospitals
“As a platform, MedikaBazaar is in the middle of the storm. We used to get a lot of orders from medical fraternity from all over India which are largely impacted due to the various restrictions on healthcare sector, e – commerce sector & logistic or transportation sectors by the government” said, Mr. Vivek Tiwari, Founder & CEO, Medikabazaar
“This national emergency came on us in February & March, however first case was recorded in January. We weren’t expecting it to hit us so quickly. There was an assumption that what’s happening in China won’t impact us. Also, there was a sense of disbelieve that this will be temporary & the weather of India will kill the virus. Now as we along another extension of lockdown, we realise that we are in a war.” said, Mr. Rajiv Nath, Forum Coordinator – (AIMED), Managing Director – (HMD)
“COVID – 19 is undesirable, 2020 has been quite painful. However, healthcare & technology industry are working around the clock to keep us afloat. The best of innovations is coming out with fastest approvals from government with all round support to tackle the pandemic.” said, Mr. Raghuram Janapareddy, Director- Healthcare & Life-Sciences, NASSCOM Center of Excellence
“There are always 2 elements: Ability to do & Capability to do. It’s the crisis of COVID -19, that has made us realised India’s abilities & capabilities to manufacture gigantic quantities of products, to move the supply chain & have skilled young workforce as compared to countries like Norway or Japan. We face restrictions in quality & testing labs of the products.” said, Dr. Jitendar Sharma, MD & CEO- AMTZ, Visakhapatnam, Executive Director- Kalam Institute of Tech., Distinguished Senior Fellow, Niti Aayog, Govt. of India
- We want a unified one single regulator in the country
- A policy fixed for next ten years for this industry to grow to ensure that this industry adapt to right quality standards.
- Indian Medical devices has to adapt to unified global standards
- Coordinated movement is necessary between different Govt. departments and agencies
- The healthcare needs access to cash flow
- Healthcare needs to provide more affordable care so people don’t shy from it
- Manufacturers need to help the healthcare in bringing down the cost of healthcare delivery by making more products with lower MRP for consumer protection
- We would like seek cap on trade margins on MRP to save the consumers from exorbitantly high prices
- We have ability to move supply chain and production to India but our huge abilities are eclipsed by our limited capacities to do so
- 3 capacities are stopping us from leap fogging into next level of excellence both quantitatively & qualitatively – Supplies of spares & components, the capacity of high volume low price was never tapped within or outside the Govt., we don’t have enough testing labs. 10-15 labs one in every 2 states is necessary and bridging clinical medicine into technology medicine/engineering
- The Govt. should address the cash flow issue
- Address the affordability issue for the patients and also make it workable for the hospitals
- The industry should join hands to find out manageable solutions on how everyone could contribute to revive everything that gets collapsed with this pandemic including health, medical devices, pharma sector and how to control the economy in future which is at the verge of collapsing.
- We urge AHPI & IMA to come out with its own guidelines for PPEs with various standards, where to be used, how to be used etc.
- If you find a covid positive patient in a factory, in an office building, or a nurse in a hospital, the local administration need not shut down the whole office, factory or seal the hospital, it has to be more rational corrective action over there, these can be refuted by the empowered committee and the Government so that the local administration do consider them.
- India should move forward and make the complete testing kits instead of just assembling to it in India.
- Discovering most of the frugal innovations coming from India and also across borders and lot of cross collaborations enabling to reduce the costs of innovation is something we have to take cognizance of
- We have to make India capable enough so that the world instead of China should rely on India as a reliable dependable supplier.
Video Link to the Webinar