Healthcare for India
My connection with the subjects of “health & sickness” started fairly early in my life. In our group of friends who grew up together studying from 5th standard to professional courses, majority of us became engineers & doctors. But the rest became … professors, chartered accountants & auditors, and some others as advocates. Probably I was the only odd one out – who was interested in medical sciences as much, while pursuing engineering and finally qualifying as an “electrical & electronics” engineer. My subsequent employment with GE-USA (working in India) as a marketing engineer for their electromedical equipments, deepened my connection with the medical world of diagnosis, treatment, doctors & hospitals (both rural & urban)….while haunting me for the rest of my life till now, irrespective of my main field of work for a living, in the varied engineering industries. My interest in any & all subjects with some intermittent & accidental incidents, forced me to study alternate medicine, holistic medicine, Indian system of medicine (AYUSH) etc. I think that, this long introduction of my background may help the reader of this article to view it in its own perspective, while evaluating its contents.
Old Joke: Operation successful, But patient died!
Presently emerging & scary reality: Operation successful, So patient died!
There is acute helplessness growing with a fear that a “modern hospital” is slowly becoming the transit point to the grave, with prohibitive transfer costs! One wonders, why pay for being legally tortured & finally killed?
Medical Treatments in clinics & hospitals:
Modern treatment procedures (SOP) are all same wherever one goes – all over the world. Same set of “drugs” only varying in brands – based on the marketing strategies and muscles of respective drug companies! Patients suffer more from the treatment than the original disease due to adverse side-affects!
SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities & Threats) analysis:
Strengths: In surgical restoration of functional abilities, modern medical science & technology has attained great heights – thanks to the medical engineers. Today we see “good eye sight” restored from the partially or fully damaged eyes or diseased eyes for millions on daily basis. Artificial limbs are restoring mobility and functional self-help for the crippled. Children are safely delivered from dangerous situations threatening both mother & child. Children with birth defects can now have hope of normal living. Accident victims with bone fractures and muscle damages are brought back to normalcy at an unbelievable speed. Plastic surgery not only restores functionality but also confidence in self. There can be any number of such examples!
Weaknesses: Are all surgeries necessary or essential for the patient? May not be! Commerce rules the decisions! Unethical practices galore!
Opportunities: Ancient traditional & modern health sciences should be promoted together and integrated into a single system of health care. AYUSH can play a very big role in this with enough funds being made available by Governments – state & center. The concept of “Family Doctor” should be restored to its full potential and made available with proper infrastructure in every village of India. This will generate huge employment, restore the needed “connect” between the doctor and the patients. May humanize the medical health care. Prevent the present trend of exploitation of patients for their ignorance. We will have less drugged human population with more functional abilities…physical & mental…
Threats: Sickness is cashable, but health is not! Politics & commerce will constantly try to maintain sickness and prevent good & real health out of selfishness & greed. Country as a whole may suffer due to such forces. There should be effective general and moral education + the legal deterrence to prevent this degradation & degeneration in health care system of INDIA.