Goa Medical College10
Just as I was falling into a beautiful slumber on the last bench, I heard my Roll number being called out. “Present ma’am “Iscreamed out, not bothering to lift my head to realise that it was a male professor taking the class. The class echoed with the laughter of 180 odd kids who sat there for a PSM lecture just for the sake of attendance. Well, to my disappointment the professor didn’t look quite amused. He walked out saying, ”next class, Roll No.11 will present the lecture on the “future of healthcare in india”“.It seemed quite ironic, but that made me think and here’s what I came up with.
There is a difference between chaos and complexity. Chaotic systems are driven by simple rules that, when applied repeatedly, tend to increase disorder. Moreover, chaotic systems are difficult to influence because the rules are fixed. Complex systems have multiple parts that interact to influence the environment. These features create system properties that can be observed and modelled. That’s the fundamental difference between developing countries and developed countries. Developed countries have systems in place, systems that are functional..not just on paper but on ground 0. And the future of Medicine in India lies in putting systems in place, because someone once said “people may fail, systems don’t“.
India is one of the fastest growing economies of the world. The very essential components of primary health care– promotion of food supply, proper nutrition, safe water and basic sanitation and provision for quality health information concerning the prevailing health problems – is largely ignored. A more interesting question, a question that perhaps you’ve never considered before, is what pain do you want in your life? What are you willing to struggle for? Because that seems to be a greater determinant of how our lives turn out..Does medicine and healthcare matter enough for us to put in the hours to bring about a change?
Yes the future of Indian healthcare looks bright and Needless to say, technology has paved a path for better healthcare solutions. With several technological advancements, countless lives have been saved, and for many more, it has improved the quality of life. Not only has it done wonders for patients with chronic ailments, but it’s also had an impact on medical practices of healthcare professionals.The challenge before us is not one of resources. As a country we are already producing almost all of the drugs that we need locally, at a fraction of global costs; we have the finest physicians and nurses; and our technological capabilities are internationally recognized. Indian doctors are known for their competency, clinical acumen and technical skills. Advanced health care facilities are now available even in small towns catering to nearby villages. Medical tourism is a thriving because of advanced health care facilities, competent doctors and para medical staff, relatively economical health care cost and user-friendly policies. As India’s disease pattern is slowly shifting from infectious diseases to life style diseases, future of wellness industry is also great.What we need is a health system that uses these resources effectively, It should include a full spectrum of essential, quality health services, from health promotion to prevention, treatment, rehabilitation, and palliative care.
Despite being the core of health policy for a long time, Universal Health Coverage (UHC) is still a distant goal in India. An overwhelming 70% of healthcare expenses in India are met by out of pocket expenditure by the individual, due to which about 7% population is pushed below the poverty threshold every year.
The problem is out there and the solution is simple. Basics like Healthcare Insurance for all, Cap On the costs of various drugs and procedures and also retaining talented medical professionals to serve the home land will go along way in shaping the future of Indian Healthcare. Upgrading facilities of government set ups and educating the masses on preventive healthcare are fundamentals.
India 2020 should mark the beginning of a revolution which builds the Indian healthcare system around the principles of Affordability Accessibility Equality and Sustainability. As Winston Churchill once said, “Healthy Citizens are the greatest asset any country can have.