Dr Swati Sahay
Consulting Pathologist,
Metropolis Lab

Limitations In Healthcare Departments And Their Remedies

Healthcare market in our country is still developing and has a long way to go. The amount of research, which is ongoing and completed, has not been implemented practically in the current scenario – the reasons being firstly, overshooting prices of the tests and secondly the lack of awareness about the disease, and hence about the test.

The other contributory reasons are that the patients reach out to healthcare when the disease has outgrown to such a stage that resection is the only choice of treatment.

The most important and the most common diseases in our country are tuberculosis and occupational diseases like anthracosis and bagassosis, for which pathologists and healthcare-associated people still go for routine age-old tests and do not ask for recent and newly developed techniques such as TB gold and RTPCR, which may be due to non-availability of tests or due to remote locations of patients and high cost of all these tests available.

Currently, the scenario in government and in private healthcare hospitals shows marked fluctuations because not everyone in public or private sector is well informed, or there is lack of clarity among the doctors in relation with business management, which has to be addressed first by conducting CME and workshops. Another factor, leading to gap in delivering good medical practices, is the fewer number of qualified doctors and nurses in our country because of the sky-rocketing fees for studies in India, and hence fewer specialized doctors, which should have been the first priority to look out in the current scenario.

Therefore, to increase the welfare as a whole, a greater number of tie-ups should be emphasized upon and more number of test equipment should be made available in both government and private sectors.

Since most of the test equipment has not been installed in most government medical colleges and, therefore, patients and doctors who need much better diagnostic have to refer the patients to private labs for the confirmation of same, which again costs higher than usual amount. Henceforth, there should be collaboration of the district hospitals and government hospitals with private diagnostics. For this, the government should encourage doctors to tie up their labs and diagnostics with government medical colleges, and thus there would be improved diagnostics accuracy and much better line of treatment. Also, the government should employ a greater number of specialized doctors with appealing salary infrastructure in both inside cities and outskirts with good number of bedded hospitals and staff so that there is no limitation and delay in treatment to the patients.

The other parts, where government can improve healthcare, are by promoting policy for senior citizens, accident insurance policy, maternity and baby cover, policy for malnourished children, and adolescent females, and there should be strict month-wise audit of these programs and organizations.

All this can be done in both cities as well as in small towns, where there is shortage of doctors. Over the past few years, clinical guidelines have seen tremendous changes, be it clinical decisions or lab operations and this has influenced medical insurance health companies as well; hence the cost of care and variations has seen fluctuations, so to tackle all these situations policy makers should not always adhere to only one scheme or management; there should be more number of schemes according to the needs of patients and departments and that also promote interventions of proved benefits and discourage ineffective ones. Guidelines should also improve consistency of care and same type of care should be provided regardless of caste, creed, or color of the patient.

Finally, all these together should influence public policy and recognize underprivileged and neglected society of people and also unrecognized health problems also, which reinforces the hidden talents of doctors in bringing out the best of them and hence good structured organizations.

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