Kochi, July 15 (PTI): Kerala Health Minister Veena George on Thursday said public-private partnership in healthcare would be strengthened and the brand of the State healthcare system taken forward effectively. George, speaking at a virtual meeting organised by FICCI's Kerala Council, said the State has set an example in fighting the pandemic.

"Although complex post-COVID diseases are reported, Kerala has been able to set an example in COVID-resistance. In the last five years, the State has invested and developed the health infrastructure," she said. "The public-private partnership in the healthcare sector in the State will be strengthened and its brand of healthcare system will be taken forward effectively," she said. Addressing the meeting, CEO of Aster DM Healthcare Harish Pillai said many States were offered subsidy for medical oxygen and asked the Kerala government to seek such assistance too.

"There are indications that we will have to live with the coronavirus again next year. The only solution is to vaccinate all in Kerala, including guest workers. Oxygen production should be accelerated through public-private partnerships," Pillai said.

He sought setting up of more virology labs and district- level monitoring centers.

Managing Director of Baby Memorial Hospital K G Alexander said the availability of the vaccine should be increased and private hospitals should be taken into confidence. Neurosurgeon K S Jayakrishnan said action should be taken on a warfooting to bring medical tourism back. The speakersat the meeting said the COVID-19 has given rise to the need to build hospitals with additional facilities in the future. K M Navas, president of the Kerala Private Medical College Management Association, said facilities for studying medicine should be improved so that those pursuing such studies do not leave the State. Co-chair of FICCI Kerala State Council Deepak L Aswani and its president Savio Mathew were among those present on the occasion.

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