United Kingdom is looking at opportunities to partner with Indian entities in the primary care sector by scaling up the standards of healthcare delivery. As a pilot project, UK government is in talks with the government of Kerala for upgrading the services of three government primary health care centres in Thiruvananthapuram district.
In India, the healthcare sector, especially in the hands of the private sector, has been growing mainly in the tertiary care segment, while the primary care that lies in the bottom of the pyramid has almost been neglected.
“On the other hand UK has a robust primary care sector with large networks of general practitioners. The expertise of the country in healthcare delivery, research and education can be utlised to set up a good primary care system in India and this will ease the burden on the tertiary care segment,” said Mike Nithavrianakis, British deputy high commissioner in Chennai and ex-officio president of Indo-British health initiative (IBHI).
“The collabration can happen in different levels. The state governments can partner with British entities to upgrade the existing primary health centers (PHCs). Further, there could be public-private-partnerships in primary health care. In the private sector, family-run businesses or corporate entities who are keen to enter healthcare can also consider joint venture partnerships with UK hospitals and GP networks,” he added.
In UK, the large networks of general practitioners are keen to enter the high-growth Indian market. Besides, British universities and hospitals also are interested in providing training and technical assistance to Indian entities.
As a pilot project, the UK government is in talks with the state administration of Kerala and three PHCs in Thiruvananthapuram have been identified for the purpose. Under the partnership, UK government will be probably introducing palliative car, diabetes care, providing advanced training for doctors and specialty training for nurses.
The UK government also is keenly looking at the growing medical devices market in India. The Diabetes Summit happening in Chennai on December 18 and 19, will witness the participation of 15 medical technology companies, apart from 20 British Universities.