Healthcare in India
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Healthcare in India
Selection of Articles, Opinions, Discussions and News on Healthcare in India from all over the web covering Healthcare Policy, Healthcare Reform, News, Events, #HealthIT , Edipdemics, Chronic Diseases, #mHealth, #hcsmin ,
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Why is India’s healthcare system in such a sorry state?

Why is India’s healthcare system in such a sorry state? | Healthcare in India | Scoop.it

R Srinivasan’s credible government document on healthcare in India titled ‘Health Care in India – Vision 2020’ draft published in 2004, sub-titled ‘Issues and Prospects’, has suggested four criteria that make a just healthcare system 


1. Universal access, access to an adequate level, and access without excessive burden.

2. Fair distribution of financial costs for access and fair distribution of burden in rationing care and capacity and a 
constant search for improvement to a more just system.

3. Training providers for competence empathy and accountability, pursuit of quality care and cost effective use of the results of relevant research.

4. Special attention to vulnerable groups such as children, women, the disabled and the aged.
 
Srinivasan's  draft is dated; but the criteria are relevant even today as India’s healthcare system remains in a very sordid state.


A recent study by IMS Institute of Health Informatics (19 July, 2013) has revealed that 72 percent of the rural Indian population has access to just one-third of the country’s available hospital beds while 28 percent of urban Indians have access to 66 percent of the total beds. The study also notes that those living in remote pockets have to travel more than five kilometres to access an in-patient facility, 63 percent of the time.


Evidently, the country’s historical spend on healthcare, apart from immunization programmes, has not been enough. WHO statistics show the total expenditure on health is 4.4 percent of the GDP, for a population of 1.27 billion. As a result of a low healthcare spend and lack of special attention towards this sector and absence of concrete regulatory policies, India’s healthcare system is in shambles.


Here is a picture of the current healthcare scenario:
 
Universal Access and Financial Costs: The IMS study noted that long waiting time and absence of diagnostic equipment at public facilities has caused an increasing number of patients to rely on private healthcare facilities.  Quality of treatment is also a reason why patients switch to private centres. However, this shift from public to private care is posing an affordability challenge to poor patients.
 
Training and distribution of Health workforce: Statistically speaking, Indian cities have four times the number of doctors and three times more nurses than in rural areas. Meanwhile, almost 80 percent of the medical colleges are located in South and West India. The direct impact is a dearth of trained professionals practicing in rural India.






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Genetic labs, counselling centres under health department's lens

Genetic labs, counselling centres under health department's lens | Healthcare in India | Scoop.it

The absence of adequate checks on genetic labs and genetic counseling centres functioning in the state has prompted the health department to inspect them for possible misuse of sex determination technology.

Sonography centres have to submit form 'F' which gives details of a pregnant woman undergoing an ultrasound scan. Similarly, genetic counseling centres must maintain form 'D' while genetic laboratories need to fill form E.

However, 'health officials have been lax in inspecting the records at these centres', states the letter issued by the state health department to civil surgeons and civic health officials in the city on August 3.

Health authorities said the genetic labs have Pre-implantation Genetic Diagnosis (PGD) facilities, which allows testing of the embryo before implantation and hence the daily monitoring of their functioning is crucial.

state health official, on the condition of anonymity, said, "The fact is that there has been no monitoring of genetic labs and genetic counseling centres functioning in Maharashtra. So, we have ordered civil surgeons in rural areas and civic health officials in cities to carry out inspection of such labs and centres and report to us every day."

Asaram Khade, a consultant to the state government on Pre Conception and Pre-Natal Diagnostics Techniques (PCPNDT) Act, said, "We have started consolidating the exact number of genetic labs and genetic counselling centres functioning in the state. We have issued orders to civil surgeon and municipal corporation health officials to inspect these centres and report to us about the same in the format prescribed.

Like inspection of form F, officials have been told to report to us the daily scrutiny of form D meant for genetic counseling centres and form E for genetic labs."

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India is the place to be, say home-bound doctors

India is the place to be, say home-bound doctors | Healthcare in India | Scoop.it

After technology sector, it's the health sector in Bangalore that is witnessing a reverse brain drain. Across fields-nephrology, general medicine, pathology, orthopaedics and oncology among others, doctors are returning to India in general and Bangalore in particular.


On an average big medical hospital chains in the city each get 8 to 10 applications every month from Indian doctors in the US, the UK, Canada, Australia and Singapore. "I interview one doctor a week. And in the last six months I have got 12 applications for jobs from doctors abroad. They are all in their 30s," says Dr H Sudarshan Ballal, medical director, Manipal Hospitals.


The scene is no different at Sparsh Hospital on Narayana Health City campus where chief orthopaedic and hospital head Dr Sharan Patil scrutinizes at least 10 applications every month from doctors in the UK, Australia and the US.

"There is no bigger canvas to paint yourself than in medicine. Two decades ago when doctors left India, the opportunities were few. Today opportunities outweigh frustrations. After the training, they want to return," says Dr Patil, who himself spent five years in the UK before returning to the city to become a doctor-entrepreneur.


Ten of the 40 orthopaedicians at Sparsh are those who have returned from abroad. "I began to feel I was making no difference in my job and decided to leave Australia. I find it more satisfying here. But it is good to study and train abroad for some time," says Dr A Thomas, spine surgeon, who practised for five years at St George Hospital, University of South Wales.


Hospital honchos are seeing the trend only in the past five years. In many hospital chains of Bangalore, the entrepreneurs are doctors themselves who left practice in the dream country where they were and came back home.

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