20 May 2013

Modern Health Care- No longer a dream of a few

A few years ago, waiting outside a hospital meant several things. That you would invariably be approached by someone professing a loved one needed immediate help, usually either by donating some amount of money or by obtaining medicine from the closest medical shop.

As Indians we learnt early on to not believe these stories at face value and to treat it as yet another case of people weaving more stories to try and help us part with the money in our pockets, and in addition the notion that doctors and medical care is simply too expensive for the common man was born.

In the 70s liver, heart transplant were experimental, need based surgeries that had a minimal chance of surivival. They were also the purview of the Western nations, where science married the occult, so to speak, to play on Franken characters. Ideas that had hitherto been restricted to the realm of science fiction or in some cases, horror, were now in practice and as the success rates grew, confidence grew.

There was demand for good medicine, need for good medicine and a need for afforable medical care.What were people to do, not everyone could afford a trip to overseas for a transplant!

If anyone remembers the Jeans movie, with Aishwarya Rai & Prashant in... a few years later, the sucess of Munnabhai MBBS- was a symbolic of the complete makeover the industry had undergone. One of the trusted names, is Apollo Hospitals founded in the early 80s that grew in prominence to approximately generate a total revenue of 31.73 Billion rupees in 2012. For most of us, we read that as so much profit. The way I look at it, if the average cost of a surgery is 1 Lakh, think of how many people's lives have been touched.

One of the key reasons behind the success of these hospitals is the relative affordability of medical care. If one had to compare the cost of travel, stay & medical expenses to a foreign country, however close to India, they'd realize that as expensive as it may be seen to be in rupees, the actual cost outside the country is far greater.

Insurance had also made a swift entrance, and allowed the working class families to have access to clean healthcare, where as prior to that many were at the mercy of doctors, who went by their reputation, not necessarily cure rates. Neighbourhood family doctors were not in large replaced, but prioritised for simple ailments, and larger hospitals were thrown into the limelight for acting as service centers for complex and complicated procedures. Doctors with experitse and cutting edge technology.

International Accreditations, also allowed staff to be trained, enhancing their practices and bringing their practice of those medical techniques to new levels by ensuring compliance with Internationally recommended treatment & care. With the gap between local and international care, rapidly closing, a strange phenomenon called Medical Tourism began.

Suddenly, India had hospitals that were of good quality and cheap to boot, and our local hospitals became bigger, and spread their wings to other countries. They marketted the unique Indian brand of Affordable Modern Health Care.

Healthier people walk our streets more than anyother time in our history. Yes, there have been an increase of lifestyle diseases like Diabetes, Blood Pressure etc. But think about it, there's a choice now. A choice to get cured. And the buck won't stop here, good is the enemy of better.

Who knows, to borrow from Revolution, a science fictions series, perhaps tomorrow will belong to nanomites and their ability to grow a new heart :)

For more information on what the future holds: http://www.apollohospitals.com/cutting-edge.php

Anirban Bose- Mice In Men- Book Review

I got this book in our last Indiblogger's meet and well, this rainy weekend had to arrive before I had the intent to actually pick out this book from my magazine rack of books that I'd bought, hadn't read and what a surprise!

This must be one of the best collection on Indian short stories I've read, and I'm surprised that I haven't heard of this author until ofcourse I  got the free copy.

Anirban writes with a free flow of language, uncomplicated by words that show more than they mean, the prowess of the authors vocabularly, often messing up the story. And the stories themselves little pearls ranging from comical, to heroic, to thoughtfull to sentimental.. what a good book!

I dare say that the content is not gender or genre specific, just go get a copy of this book the next time you're at the book store or online. Retailing at Rs 199, definitely worth your money.

What I didn't like: the short story format. I think Bose writes like a charm, and would love to read a full fledged novel from him.

Rating: 4/5