Hyderabad: A major threat which will start from the East and may hit worldwide, is – no, not climate change but another phenomenon which has got insurance companies closely evaluating the healthcare industry, said Shobana Kamineni, executive vice-chairperson of Apollo Hospitals at a medical conference in the city.
The ambitious ‘Ayushman Bharat’ project or ‘Modicare’, as it is being called, will be on the rolls in April 2018 and the insurance of `5 lakh each for 50 crore Indians is being worked out at the back end to set it in motion.
While the healthcare industry is excited that it will open the doors to a large section of people and also make healthcare affordable, the flipside is the trust deficit, climate change and an impending ‘pandemic’ due to the spurt in infectious diseases and their easy transfer from one part of the world to another.
According to estimates that have been drawn up by the government, the requirement is of `20,000 crore for the healthcare policy.
There is also a major focus on preventive healthcare and that needs to be boosted along with effective communication between the patients and doctors.
Dr Hari Prasad, president, Apollo Hospitals, said, “The trust deficit is not only the issue between patient and doctor but the community at large. Do the people want us to practice defensive medicine like the American Model of Healthcare where a battery of tests are done to ensure that the healthcare industry as a unit is safe? Or do you want us to bring in the best of quality healthcare but at an affordable price?”
The continuous issues which are being raised from time to time are increasing medical tests, conflicting opinions of doctors from different hospitals and intervention of outside agencies like politicians, bureaucrats and other professionals to decide on medical treatment.
Dr Guruva Reddy, chairman, Sunshine Hospital, explained, “We are no longer dealing with one type of fever. We have hundreds of fevers and little time to assess before complications begin. So to say, don’t do too many tests is not the right answer.”
Also, patients who have insurance cover are open to getting all the tests done, while those who are paying out of their pockets are hesitant. Hence there is a clear divide in patient psychology and acceptance of medical care.
Dr Somaraju B., chairman of Care Hospitals, said, “We are all working towards saving a patient’s life and it must be understood that while one per cent of doctors are not practising as required, the other 99 per cent are in fact doing just that. Do not blame the profession for the mistakes of a few. It is important that we answer questions, counsel patients properly and make them a part of the care process to ensure that they do well. If they take it positively their treatment is effective and if they take the advice negatively, they suffer.”...