We have provided COVID Risk Scan facility in Apollo 24x7 health platform: Sangita Reddy, JMD, Apollo Hospitals Enterprises
Sangita Reddy, Joint Managing Director, Apollo Hospitals Enterprises, talks about the Goddess to whom she relates and who inspires her the most, women empowerment, programme Greater 50%, healthcare spending in the country and e-pharmacies among others during a candid chat with Zee Business Executive Editor Swati Khandelwal in the Navratri Special Series
Sangita Reddy, Joint Managing Director, Apollo Hospitals Enterprises, talks about the Goddess to whom she relates and who inspires her the most, women empowerment, programme Greater 50%, healthcare spending in the country and e-pharmacies among others during a candid chat with Swati Khandelwal, Zee Business, in the Navratri Special Series. Edited Excerpts
Q: Wish you a very happy Navratri. Can you tell us the form of Goddess Parvati you relate with and why?
A: A very happy Navratri to you and your viewers. It’s a very special time and people across the nation are worshipping and are hoping for the best for their families, their friends and their business. But also, at this point of COVID, everyone is hoping for the health of the family, the country and also for the economic output of the country. So, this is a very important time to worship. I believe in all the Goddesses but Goddess Saraswati is little special because it is a knowledge time and expect that she will provide good knowledge and intelligence to everyone and provide guidance to them. I hope that Goddess Saraswati can guide all of us to a better world.
Q: We always talk about women empowerment. You are a strong leader, so, how will you encourage women to take up leadership roles?
A: One of the most important things for women empowerment is for them to achieve economic independence. It is towards that I think we must start a foundation that is education, so every girl child should be educated. Then they are given equal opportunities at work and I think we should take some special care towards guidance counselling and that’s why we at the FICCI along with FLO we have done a programme called Greater 50% because I have an idea that the women actually contribute 48% of the population however their impact is much more than 50%.
This is why it has been termed as Greater 50% and it includes training of women who are on boards, women empowerment, women in the workplace and how they should be groomed for more leadership roles. Besides, in the MSME and at the grass-root, who doesn’t belong even to the micro-industry but are nano, i.e. very small industries then how they can avail the bank loans, how they can do marketing and the quality awareness training. For this purpose, we have a vertical in it and we want to bring its model across India with Mann Deshi Bank and in it Chetna Sinha, she is a very good friend.
When each one of these verticals is being driven by women leaders. There is a good thing in it and that is many men are coming forward because every evolved human being knows that the society will be a good one and will improve when men and women can play an equal role.
Q: Let’s talk about the sector, where you have the expertise, healthcare, and you have good experience in the same. Currently, spending on healthcare has improved a lot of post COVID. But in India, we are still spending much less as compared to the total GDP. How do you see healthcare spending of total GDP in India going forward and what is the level to which it is increased?
A: Everyone understood the importance of healthcare due to CORONA. So, the government will definitely spend more and I think that this 2% will go up closer to 3% and it includes an important scheme of the Prime Minister that every health insurance is created. Besides that, there is a very important scheme which is the National Digital Health Mission and the primary care strengthening.
So along with Ayushman Bharat enhanced primary healthcare and the national digital health mission, these three things will boost up the spending. And more insurance, enhancement of outpatient insurance will also increase the spending but what is very important is that one must look only at the GDP but should look at how the productivity of a nation increases when the healthcare of the nation is good. Because everyone knows that young people are getting heart attacks. So all doctors see to it every day that 40-45-year-olds are getting a heart attack. Very importantly Lancet’s editor has said that currently, we are looking at CORONA as a pandemic but actually, three epidemics are happening parallelly.
The first is the COVID epidemic, the second is the epidemic of the non-communicable disease and the heart disease, cancer, strokes, neurological problems and this needs preventive healthcare, health check-up and lifestyle, which is very important for this. Response to COVID of those with these problems is also not as good as of those who are completely healthy. So being healthy, taking health check-ups, being fit and those with diabetes should keep their sugar under control, should keep their hypertension under control.
For this purpose, we are doing many programmes related to condition management and health checks. We also have a post-COVID come back to normal because in COVID it is visible that more reports are coming at present. In PubMed every one hour, eight papers are coming out and, in these papers,, it is seen that people are having post-COVID complications. For this also, health is a very important subject. The most important aspect is that it is said that ‘Health is Wealth’, so in this Puja Season, I wish your all viewers very good health and happiness and all the best to them.
Q: E-pharmacies are growing a lot and you are also present in the sector. So what is your outlook on the growth and what is your view on e-pharmacies and the segment?
A: Clearly, digital is an important path because healthcare should be provided to individuals and the best way to do it through the mobile phone. We have done something and we in the last two years were making building blocks in it. Early this year we have launched Apollo 24x7. It is an omnichannel health platform and it has content, pharmacy, diagnostics and the most important is that you can put your health records and it provides video consults with the doctors as well and doctor appointment and booking is also available there.
So, one is that it is the most comprehensive, it is omnichannel and is the fastest growing health application in the country. At a time of COVID, we have added a COVID risk scan to it using artificial intelligence and almost 13 million people have already used the scan and the response is good due to it.
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And, we will utilize it in the best way to help people stay healthy and give people access to Apollo Health Ecosystem, may it be a hospital or a doctor, access to everyone will be provided and I think it will become a very important building block in the overall development of the Apollo Ecosystem.
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