Noted medical professional, Dr William A. Haseltine, who is also the Chair and President of ACCESS Health International, says Ayushman Bharat can move India to the forefront of healthcare system during an interaction with BW Healthcareworld. Haseltine, who was in India on a private visit, said he found Ayushman Bharat "really interesting". "I think Ayushman Bharat is a really interesting thing. It's probably going to move Indian to the Forefront of countries that provide care to hospital care and making a very serious effort to provide Community Care to the entire population," said Haseltine.
Haseltine said he was really impressed by Public-Private-Partnerships (PPP) model in the healthcare system in Central India. "Those (the PPP projects) are very hard to do properly and I think that Arogyashri did it extremely well. At least when it was started, it did extremely well under the PPP model," he added.
Haseltine is associated with ACCESS Health International, an international think tank, advisory group, and implementation partner that works to improve access to high quality and affordable healthcare. It also works to reduce health disparities by shaping the social and environmental determinants of health. it conducts practical, evidence-based research, cultivates partnerships and fosters health innovation. It has established a long term, in residence, country and regional programs.
Elaborating on the work being undertaken by ACCESS Health in India, Haseltine recalled how the government of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana had sought their help in reducing the infant mortality rates at the state-run ICU units.
"If they ask us, we’re happy to give advice, happy to carry out research programs based on our general knowledge. We don't exist to teach, we don't say - do this, do that, do the other. Our role is to say, if we're asked, we're happy to help people implement," said Haseltine while talking about the nature of association with NITI Aayog/State Governments.
Talking about his experience in the Indian health care system, Haseltine said, “The condition of the health care system in the remote areas of India were pathetic. Taking a critically injured person to the nearest hospital was a 5 hours long journey but with 108, it has reduced up to 15-20 mins. This very change gives us the hope of betterment of healthcare scenario in rural parts of India.”
Also, Haseltine described 'Information Science' making a bid difference in the healthcare system. "Information science has made it possible to do things you couldn't do before. You couldn't have 108 without information science. You couldn't do mass procurement without information science, in an efficient way. You can't hold people accountable for results without information science. You can't integrate the Health Care system from primary to tertiary care without any information science," he said.