'Eighty percent of medical expenditure spent on twenty percent people'

     Minister of State for Health and Family Welfare Dinesh Trivedi on Friday said eighty percent of medical expenditure in India is spent on twenty percent of people. "This is what is an eye opener, that eighty percent of medical expenditure is spent on twenty percent of the people. I have no quarrel but that is the reality," said Trivedi. Trivedi further said that quality of medical services varies with the income of a person, asserting that this trend should be eliminated by giving equal and fair treatment to people coming from different financial backgrounds. "We require a different model, which is not 3P's but 4P's. And the fourth P is people. So what we are talking about is private, public, and people partnership. And that is what we require," said Trivedi. Trivedi said the country had to grow out of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) to measure development and progress. "GDP could be good but at the same time very misleading. The country needed a different parameter of calculating well-being. As per the 2001 figures there is a shortage of about 600,000 doctors in the country," said Trivedi. "There is also a deficiency of one million nurses and paramedical staff," he added. Meanwhile, Apollo Group Executive Director (Operations) Sangita Reddy said telemedicine has helped people access health information. "The next very important innovation in which we have perfected over the last ten years is telemedicine, so we have over 120 telemedicine centers and this anyone can access. If you have an Internet connection you can talk to a doctor. That is the platform we have built," said Reddy. "It is a web-based platform. It gives second opinion. Nursing homes, small doctors across the country are using it in an emergency. So, we believe it is slowly creating a momentum where people realise that technology can help transform and at least give them access to good health information," she added.

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