Plenary address at the India Health Summit 2009, Rajendra Pratap Gupta, President, DMAI & Director, DMAA- The Care Continuum Alliance, USA
This is an interesting audience which includes policy makers and those who can influence policy makers. I have a short message for you all. I feel so great about our nation. The developed world has failed in healthcare, and fortunately, in India, we are starting to build our healthcare system. This is the time when we can have the strong fundamentals ingrained in our population health improvement model
According to Kaiser Family Foundation the healthiest 50 % of Americans account for just 3 % of the annual spending; the sickest 15 % represents nearly 75 %. Half of the spending goes to those 55 and over, a third to those over 65 and over. In Europe, the chronic care accounts for 70 % of the healthcare expenses.
Today, we are the youngest nation with an average age of approximately 26.5 years, 30 years from now; we will be the oldest nation. Also, that we will become older before we become wealthier.
At present, we are not able to provide healthcare to more than 65 % of our population, and we are growing in numbers and age both. If we don’t pay attention to preventive healthcare, our health systems will soon become over burdened, under-funded and outdated as well.
This sums up clearly that we need primary preventive care as the starting point for healthcare and secondary preventive care in the continuum of care. We have the best of tertiary care in India but preventive care is missing!!
I believe that the biggest threat to our healthcare system is our generation. Our ‘lifestyle’ will lead to ‘disorders’ that will become the ‘Chronic diseases’ for us, and ‘Genetic disorders’ for our very own next generation. It is a call to action.
I must reach out to you all the come and participate in the three Global campaigns that I am starting at the Disease Management association of India
1. Red Flag campaign – If you have BMI above 23. Work Hard. Did you all ever think that having a BMI at 25 is being at borderline and being predisposed to chronic risks!! Let’s try and get it at 23. A healthier India should be our goal
2. Blue Building Campaign – We have green buildings to conserve energy. What about conserving health and becoming more employee health friendly. let’s have blue buildings, where the employers are proactive about employees health
3. Eat more, Burn more campaign. Have the RDA for each lifestyle. Live happy, live healthy. If you eat more, don’t feel guilty and regret, just you need to work out a little more and burn the extra calories. Isn’t that simple.