The Indo-UK Institute of Health (IUIH) programme will overhaul India’s healthcare systems
Healthcare is one of the largest areas of employment across India, and continues to grow in alignment with ageing populations and the creeping technologies driven by tech-savvy millennials who wish to overhaul traditional services to provide higher quality of medical treatment. Additionally, both the public and private healthcare sector are growing at an exponential rate.
With this in mind, Healthcare UK is now set to support India’s transforming healthcare systems by creating a new network of 11 Medicities. The 10-year project will become of India’s largest healthcare initiatives, which will see it partner with the National Health Service (NHS) in the United Kingdom to ensure exceptional healthcare and medical training.
Named the Indo-UK Institute of Health (IUIH), the project will transform a disjointed healthcare system, to one that is integrated and well-connected across the board, and support a developing network of primary care clinics. The first phase is now underway, with ambitions to complete by 2019.
The India Brand Equity Foundation has reported that with increased digital adoption “the Indian healthcare market, worth around US$ 100 billion, will likely grow at a CAGR of 23% to US$ 280 billion by 2020” and “the Healthcare Information Technology market is valued at US$ 1 billion currently (April 2016) and is expected to grow 1.5 times by 2020,” highlighting the country’s continued potential, with room for further growth.
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To this effect, hospitals and diagnostic centres have attracted Foreign Direct Investment worth over US$4 billion between 2000 and 2017.
The NHS will support the development of each of the 11 Medicities, of which all aspects will be incorporated through new commercial contracts. In a news release, the government has stated that “this commitment by the Indian government and IUIH has already recorded over £150 million in export wins for the UK since 2015 and continues to grow.
The scale of the project signifies significant export opportunities for NHS Trusts and other healthcare services providers throughout India.”
Nagpur and Amravati will become the first two sites to be overhauled through a collaboration with Kings College Hospital, with recent foundation stone laying ceremonies undertaken
"The 1,000 bed IUIH in the city is being developed in association with UK's leading medical institute King's College Hospital. The 170-year-old King's College, for the first time in its history, has agreed upon making its centre outside UK, that too in IUIH premises in the city," commented Group MD and CEO Ajay Rajan Gupta.
Advances in health "must ensure self-sovereign identity"
The UK government has announced that from September onwards COVID-19 vaccine passports will be necessary to gain entry into places with large crowds, such as nightclubs.
This has reignited the debate between those who believe having proof of vaccinations will enable people to gather in public places and travel safely, and those who view the digital certificates as an attack on personal freedom.
The arguments have increased in intensity since the recent announcement to drop COVID-19 restrictions in England, in a move to reopen the economy that has attracted fierce criticism both domestically and overseas.
Cross-party ministers are set to defy the government’s latest plans to introduce vaccine passports over civil liberties concerns. A number of MPs have already signed the Big Brother Watch declaration against “Covid status certification to deny individuals access to general services, businesses or jobs” in recent months.
However Mark Shaw, CEO of Tento Applied Sciences, says the Big Brother Watch campaign is based on false assumptions. “Big Brother Watch puts forward a compelling argument based around civil liberties, but some of the assumptions they make are simply incorrect” he says.
“For example, the BBW campaign claims that all Covid passes are discriminatory, counterproductive and would lead to British citizens having to share personal health information with anyone in authority, from bouncers to bosses. However, there are already privacy-first digital wallets that give individuals the freedom to store and share anonymised medical documents, work credentials and other types of documentation quickly, simply, and securely.
“I wholeheartedly agree that individuals should not be required to share their own personal health information with unknown third parties or with anyone in authority who demands it" Shaw adds. "But I strongly disagree with the suggestion that ‘events and businesses are either safe to open for everyone, or no one’. It creates a false dichotomy that either everyone is safe, or nobody is safe. If employers or event organisers don’t take action to properly manage workplace or venue safety, then they risk curtailing the safety and freedom of movement for the majority."
The subject of personal health data is under scrutiny in the UK at the moment, following controversial plans for the NHS to share patient data with third parties. These have been put on hold following public criticism.
Meanwhile a new report has found that the majority of the British public is willing to embrace digital healthcare tools such as apps and digital therapies prescribed by a trusted healthcare professional.
Shaw adds: “The vital point to make is this: innovations in health technology must ensure self-sovereign identity. This means the data held about an individual is owned by the individual and stored on their device. And, in the case of medical data, that data can be delivered from healthcare professionals to the device in an encrypted format, and the user chooses how they share their information."