The fundamental principle of the change rests on the idea of sharing the resources. In the case of heart care this amounts to creating a system by which the resources — in terms of manpower and infrastructure — of a premium hospital is made available to hospitals which cannot afford to set up the same facilities on their own.
Dr SS Ramesh, vice president Cardiological Society of India and chief cardiologist of the Bangalore-based Heart Care Centre, explained the sheer necessity for a change of perspectives in heart care management in the country. “ It is becoming increasingly clear that Indian’s are more prone to heart diseases than people in US and Europe. The facilities existing in the country is completely inadequate to address the problem”.
According to Dr Ramesh 10 per cent of the adult population above the age of 40 in the country are estimated to suffer from heart ailments in one way or the other. “The present model of having a super speciality hospital with 250 or 300 beds is no answer to the sheer volume. Secondly such hospitals will be costly for the majority of the people suffering from heart ailments. So the challenge before the cardiac care management is to establish quality facilities at affordable cost”.
There is no better way other than developing a model based on sharing the resources of a speciality centre with the regular hospitals or clinics in the periphery. “In the case of a heart problem the first three or four hours is very crucial. Imagine a person living in the outskirts of Bangalore goes through the initial diagnosis in the event of a heart problem in his own locality. This is what Heart Care Centre is attempting to do”, Dr Ramesh said.
Heart Care Centre plans to enter into tie-ups with 10 to 12 hospitals or clinics in and around Bangalore in the current year. The Centre has already completed three such tie-ups.
Accordingly Heart Care Centre will help the hospital or the clinic to set up the basic minimum infrastructure and train doctors and paramedical staff on essential details of cardiac diagnosis. If the patient needs advance treatment heshe could be referred to the Centre.
The Centre will also having a dedicated online connectivity with the selected peripheral hospitals or clinics to exchange the basic medical records of a patient. Besides that doctors and para medical staff from the Heart Care Centre will be visiting the peripheral centres on a regular basis.
The revenue sharing will be based on the kind of tie-up between the centre and periphery. The potential of technology to devise a new way of heart care system was first demonstrated by the Bangalore-based Dr Devi Shetty of Naryana Hrudayuala.
Dr Shetty, one of the best known cardiac surgeon in the country, with the help of Indian Space Research Organisation has brought the concept of tele-medicine to the treatment of heart ailments. The pilot project launched one year back evolves around the principle of the central unit in Naryanana Hruydualya getting linked with the selected hospitals in North East and West Bengal.