Sunday, May 12, 2013

Modern Healthcare in India - Present and Future Scenario

As the saying of the wise goes 

Health is wealth

Indeed so! And in today’s busy and Competitive world even more so…

In the modern fast paced world, where everyone is running around and working nonstop; it becomes even more important that in this race one’s health doesn’t get neglected. Therefore it becomes imperative that quality healthcare and better medical infrastructure be available to everyone.

In India, healthcare is being delivered through both Public healthcare and Private healthcare.
Although public healthcare system provides free and subsidized healthcare but the infrastructure and quality of healthcare are the main concerns that are still being dealt with.
However the silver lining is that all these concerns have been taken care by the Private healthcare system. Private healthcare system has been able to provide the best healthcare facilities to masses with its cutting edge technological advancements, best medical practitioners and doctors with worldwide reputation, state of the art infrastructure and constant advances in medicine and equipments.

Today India offers best healthcare facilities which are at par with the western countries.
Private hospitals in India like Apollo and many others have come a long way where they can boast of world class medical facilities and that too at a comparatively lesser expense.  Treatment costs in Indian hospitals are way less as compared to the costs in USA or Britain. That’s why Modern India has become one of the most favorable destinations for medical tourism. People from neighboring countries as well as from African and Gulf countries now travel to India for better medical facilities.
Indian hospitals excel in the areas of heart surgery, hip replacement, and Joint replacement and are much sought after even by the westerns because of less cost. A Cardiac Surgery costs almost a tenth of what it does in America which in itself is a matter of pride for Indian healthcare and an enough incentive for westerns to look up to India for treatment

Indian hospitals provide facilities like Cardiology and Cardiothoracic Surgery, Joint Replacement, Orthopedic Surgery, Gastroenterology, Ophthalmology, Transplants and Urology. The Hospitals also provide services like Neurology, Neurosurgery, Oncology, Ophthalmology, Endocrinology, ENT, Pediatrics, Pediatric Surgery, Pediatric Neurology, Urology, Nephrology, Dermatology, Dentistry, Plastic Surgery, Gynecology, Psychiatry, General Medicine and General Surgery.

 Moreover, there have been many ground breaking innovations in the field of medicine
Today we have cure for even the rarest of rare diseases. As we see some new kind of ailment springing up every new season be it SARS, Bird Flu, Swine flu or the latest Avian flu, the medical fraternity have been able to combat all these diseases with their knowledge, perseverance, clinical research and innovation in drugs and medication.

Recent past has seen a lot of development in technology related to diagnosis and treatment, which includes New and sophisticated instruments, automation, surgical robotics, modular operating theatres, minimal access surgery systems, telemedicine, radiology. Development of a lot many healthcare gadgets is also underway.

For example
Diabetics can be supervised in a better way with the help of a glucometer, which performs the action of measuring glucose in the patient's blood and the reading then goes directly from the glucometer to the health care provider via mobile phone.
A Vscan is a Pocket-sized visualization tool with ultrasound which enables physicians to conduct internal visual exams of their patients to confirm what they may or may not be hearing immediately and non-invasively.

Telemedicine which arrived in 1999 involves the remote diagnosis, monitoring and treatment of patients via videoconferencing or the Internet.

“Prevention is better than cure”

Treatment and Prevention being the flipsides of healthcare, modern healthcare pays an equal emphasis on prevention too. Preventive health checkups can help in early detection of some serious ailments like cancer which can be cured if diagnosed at an early stage.   
There are some 85-plus tests to ascertain if people are healthy or not. From blood tests to quick CT and MRI scans to rule out cancers, Stress test for families with cardiac history, Blood pressure, cholesterol  and sugar level, general eye test, health checkup for woman like Mammogram test for identifying possible signs of breast cancer etc.
These Preventive health checkups therefore can help to nip the evil in the bud. Early diagnosis helps in complete and efficient cure. The finance minister has even announced a tax incentive of up to 5,000 for preventive health check-ups, thus underlining the importance of prevention.

However Healthcare in small towns and villages still remains one of the prime concerns

Most of the best private hospitals are located in Metros and tier one cities while rural healthcare needs are yet to be addressed in a more effective way. But the good news is that there have been several advances in the form of telemedicine and video conferencing.
Many hospitals like Amrita Institute of medical sciences, Arvind eye hospital, Apollo Hospitals have made an attempt to reach out to the rural and less accessible areas by means of telemedicine.
  • For example DISHA(a Distance health care advancement project)  partnered by Apollo hospitals is  a novel telemedicine initiative to provide long distance healthcare to the under-served population  aimed at providing healthcare to vulnerable groups at an affordable cost. With this objective in mind, a mobile Teleclinical van will reach out to areas that do not have access to state of the art medical care. The van will have an ultrasound machine, an X-ray, a defibrillator and an ECG machine along with dedicated doctors and other Para-medical staff from Apollo Hospitals. The hospital has also ensured availability of specialist doctors and operational staff at its hospital to facilitate multi-specialty consultations for patients visiting the mobile tele-clinical vans. Aided by technology and service minded Medicare professionals, the van will offer superspeciality and specialty tele consultation, lab facilities, onsite consultation and secondary and tertiary care where needed
  • The CURE foundation is another effort by Apollo Hospitals to bring cancer care to those who cannot afford it. CURE extends preventive as well as rehabilitative cancer treatment to the economically backward
  • The Hospitals are also running awareness campaigns against various diseases by means of presentations, counseling, audio or video conferencing and such similar initiatives. These awareness campaigns are directed on educating the rural people about a balanced and healthy diet, malnutrition, Sanitation, some minor and major ailments.
Hopefully this Healthcare gap in India will be bridged with the expansion of Private hospitals into the rural and suburban areas. And the vision of universal healthcare will soon be realized.
We Indians are lucky to have a rich cultural heritage of Yoga and Ayurveda.

Pranayam and a few simple exercises are simplest way to keep healthy. . Many diseases related to heart, joints, obesity can be controlled by regular yoga and exercises.
Small dose of simple Yogasans in the morning also keeps you fresh for the entire day.
We can simply switch on the TV in the morning to learn a few simple yogasans by Baba Ramdev or we can learn them from easily accessible CD’s or over the internet.

On a closing note modern healthcare ensures wellness for all by means of technology, medicine and traditional forms of healthcare. There are certain challenges like matching the rural healthcare standards with those of the urban, but with all the initiatives being taken up by the Private hospitals and their expansion plans we can hope for a brighter picture of the future.

This post is written for Indiblogger Contest 
Please visit for more information about Apollo hospitals and their contribution to modern healthcare