Sunday, July 17, 2011
Healthcare in India - Ready to take off!
The world around us tells that is the next outsourcing wave for India and everyone gears up.
Another buzz word in recent years is medical tourism. Around us, well known doctors in India announces us that India arrived. Some says it is not tourism, but it is 'medical value travel'.Whatever be the buzz word, it is arriving. See this news item. one among many such news items on this topic. A leading cardiac surgeon Dr. Naresh Trehan says it is $5 billion opportunity for India.. So it is time to stand up, listen and think on these words. "There has been a transformation in the private healthcare delivery in India, with hospitals providing quality medical services; clinical excellence; state of the art infrastructure and technology comparable to the best in the world". Dr Pradeep Chowbey, the director of Max Institute of Minimal Access, said, “The healthcare facilities in India are at par with the facilities available in developed countries. In fact, Indian doctors and surgeons are more experienced, efficient and caring for the patients and easily approachable.(link here”).
So in 21st century, we are ready to take off or already in the trajectory after the take off. Hear India, we are a superpower in healthcare!
But amidst of all this celebrations and sudden realisation of India's power in healthcare, there is some feeble cry somewhere. The poor in India cries out, "what about us?". Also the ordinary man of India asking "Is this quality"(more here)?.
Recently Supreme Court of India did a reality check on some private hospitals in our capital, Delhi and the observations of the court is must read for everyone in healthcare sector. (Read news reports from a leading news paper of India here and here). Ordinary and poor in Urban India badly needs a good doctor and affordable healthcare(Read some statistics here). So how the ordinary and poor in rural India fares? Must be better if India is a super power in healthcare! Nobel Laureate Amartya Sen checks out healthcare sector in this news item. One doctor shares her touching story here.
In 1884, one Ms. Prisilla Winter came to banks of Yamuna in Delhi and started Delhi's first hospital, today known as St. Stephen's Hospital. The story is same everywhere in India. Some one came with missionary spirit and out of Christ's love reflecting from their hearts to give medical care to rich and poor alike.Such sacrificing stories of missionaries made people to remember contributions to education and healthcare when some one thinks of Christianity in India. Times have changed. Most of the mission hospitals closed down and many are in the brink of closing down. Most of educational institutions run by Christians moved from serving the poor to serving the rich and powerful. New ones failed to penetrate to Rural India by and large, though there are exceptions. The current reality of two indias - one for the rich and powerful, always glowing, shining and growing India and another for poor and marginalised, always looted neglected and forgotten as if they don't exist - call for a reality check by all who cares for our mother land. Christians in India needs to show christ likeness which was pro-poor and pro-marginalised. Many of us who were blessed with recent economic growth in India needs to start think of giving back to merge these two Indias in to one.
I recently came across a powerful analysis of current state of reach of healthcare in India here , in an open page opinion in The Hindu. Kerala has one doctor for 800 patients, higher than developed countries. I was wondering what we can about it. Instead of cursing the darkness, is there a way for me to light a small candle. I am not saying just about healthcare. But in the area of expertise we have, is there anything I can do to bring these Indias closer? Comment on the blog, if you have some thoughts.