Digital Healthcare Only Way To Tackle Uneven Distribution Of Doctors – NDTV Profit

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The Government has been undertaking various initiatives to promote the growth of digital healthcare. However, we require more clarity with regard to the laws governing telemedicine, online consultations, and medicine delivery. The directives are limited and do not cover the vast scope and alternatives prevalent in the digital healthcare space. We are considered an IT company which delivers healthcare, and therefore it’s mandatory to pay GST. On the other hand, health care providers do not fall under the GST umbrella. It would be great to have a clear, and uniform, policy for all businesses operating in the healthcare space.

Another important arena with limited directives is telecom payments, as in payments made directly from mobile balance. Recharging mobile balance is a widely used practice in the country. You can find mobile balance recharge shops in every nook and corner. Even today people in small towns and, some in cities, prefer recharging their friends’ mobile phone number to transfer money. In countries like Kenya, people even pay bills and other utilities using their mobile balance. The government should come up with a directive in India as well. UPI, mobile wallets and others need a bank account and internet to carry out the transactions. The government should leverage telecom payments as they have a higher penetration rate in comparison to the internet. Using mobile balance as a payment method will enable, even, people without internet and bank account to make payments. Throwing more light on the treatment of mobile recharge payments would encourage greater usage of digital payment methods.

It would be great to get undivided attention towards digital healthcare. As it is the only way to tackle, the massive, issue of the uneven distribution of doctors in the country. Currently in India, we have only 1 doctor for every 1,700 people as opposed to the WHO standard of 1 doctor for every 1000 people. Establishing new hospitals and healthcare centres are heavily dependent on physical infrastructure, ergo channeling efforts towards the advancement of digital healthcare solutions is vital at the moment. Research suggests that 72% of the primary health care issues can be solved without the physical presence of the patient. Digital healthcare will pave the way for making world-class healthcare accessible to the masses.

(Satish Kannan is CEO and Co-Founder, DocsApp)

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed within this article are the personal opinions of the author. The facts and opinions appearing in the article do not reflect the views of NDTV and NDTV does not assume any responsibility or liability for the same.

 

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