reflecting on health care


doctor Health care is maintaining and restoration of health by the treatment and prevention of disease specially by trained and licensed professionals  like medicine, dentists, clinical psychologists and public health workers

India has a universal healthcare system run by the constituent states and territories of india. The focus of which is to raise the standard of living and nutrition of the people this is in fact its primary duty. By the parliamentary endorsement of 1983.

Parallel to the public health sector we have the private medical sector.

India has been project as the destination next for health care providers

The major investors being

  1. Temesk holdings Singapore state-owned company in cancer care provider.

2. LifeCell international Pvt.Ltd. gets 35 crore from Helion venture partners,

3. Spice global invest Rs.400 crores to launch saket city hospital in N.delhi.

4. IFC the international finance corporation invest about 125 million dollars in small and medium healthcare enterprises.

5. There is the sricity Shankar netralaya tie up to establish an eyecare hospital and research center within the industrial complex

6. Apollo group launches telemedicine.

7. Dubai based health care  DM Healthcare has plans of investing over 2,300 crore in Kerala over the next three years.

8. Fortis is stepping in with diagnostics, primary care and day-care specialties and hospitals.

The fall out of this is we have high end technology available for diagnosis and treatment, the physicians loose their individual skills.

Diagnosis through technology depends on set boundaries and parameters not allowing for human variation. Most of these are programmed for western parameters. Resulting in healthcare becoming expensive. And irrelevant.

Just to quote an example, 20yr. Swati, NRI had an issue whenever she took anything early morning she would puke, and being in the states, she had all complicated tests, and humongous medication. One holiday she visited Halsnaad, her ancestral town. Where her family visited Dr.Rammohan  a simple country practitioner, his father Senior Dr.Halsnaad was a practitioner there too.

Obviously with two doctors in tow, that too who have dealt with generations of swati’s family, her condition was brought up. senior doctor halsnaad, told her not worry, this was hereditary and to drink a glass of warm water first thing in the morning. Swati did so and her problem was solved all that she had been a natural post nasal drip, that spooled in the posterior of the throat!!

Then there was Anusha, who had a dizzy spell and fainted, the twenty minutes post her recovery she was on the internet looking up what could be the reason, the net said neural problem, there was a panic button, with her parents rushing down, the doctors within the family being consulted, finally the neurosurgeon said there was no issues, he refered her to the ENT, who diagnosed a middle ear infection and put her on antibiotics,

What I am trying to say here, is we are so focused on the techno-savy diagnosis, we forget the fundamental.

The techno-rich culture has created the role, of medical transcriptions, medical recorders, minor technician and god knows what but the issue of patient care is sadly lacking.

If you are born before 1980 I do not know if you are even aware of the concept of family doctor, who was the doctor you ran to for your cold and arthritis. He would refer us to the specialist.

The body immune system was quite intact, minor ailments like measles, and mumps didn’t throw us off the tract.

Sometimes I wonder what we mean by caregiver, healthcare personal etc. The stupid girl who is mumbling into the mobile while the patient is having a spasm. Believe me I have seen the nurses at the Manipal Hospital doing this in the ICU.

I was hospitalized for about three months in a govt. Hospital since it was a trauma fortunately for me there was no option but to go to a govt. Hospital. I have observing the doctors, the nurses functioning.

There was this one resident, no PG Dr.Viraj Kandolkar (Name not changed he has to be acknowledged) was one doctor every patient looked forward to. bisque yet the patients looked forward to him. The answer I realized was that he took the trouble to talking to his patient, he made them feel cared for.

Today when we talk of healthcare we seem to be talking of two mutually elusive goals one health technology that is techno driven, no compromise, of course every human will be a variant on some parameter or the other that would provide the vindication.  Yet what is missing is the later part of the word CARE

  • Careful attention or careful heed
  • To take-home of, look after, provide for
  • To feel concerned about or interested in

That is the actual reaching out to the patient. It’s not too late we do not need new knowledge for this what we need is more faith in ourselves and our system. The need to return to the reliable sources of diagnosis, counselling, medication, and if necessary invasive therapy.

We need to opt for health and not make an industry of ill-health


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