The healthcare sector in India requires increased research and indigenous technology to make medical facilities affordable for the masses, according to a group of Indian doctors here. Though there are many health programmes in India, people do not get timely treatment and have to visit private hospitals and pay higher costs, Ashok Arbat, chairman and managing director of Nagpur-based KRIMS Hospital, said here at the ‘Connected Health and Disruptive Technology Summit 2017’. He underlined the need to build indigenous technology and increase research in the healthcare sector in India.
“We need technology to make healthcare cheaper for average man in the country. But research is not progressing in India, especially for medicine. We need funding for research programmes to support technologies,” he said. “Private hospitals are not getting any subsidy and are paying commercial rates for utilities. For that they have to charge higher medical consultant fees,” Arbat said after getting an award for his expertise. Indian doctors are exploring new digital technologies to cater to the needs of tech-savvy youngsters and girls aged 15 years when most of them drop out of school and are married off to start a family life, said Hema Divakar, former president of Federation of Obstetric and Gynaecologists of India.
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Indian doctors need to increase the use of digital technologies and telemedicine to reach out to youngsters, said Divakar, whose Divakar’s Speciality Hospital received Icon of Healthcare Awards from Singapore-based Business Excellence and Research Group. A large number of doctors have adopted technologies but in “pocket sizes” while the country needs to develop an across the board medical support, she said, adding that efforts are being made to reach out to women in remote regions through non-governmental organisations including Rotary.
Sreejoy Patnaik, the chairman of the 120-bed Shanti Omni Super Speciality Hospital in Odisha, told PTI that “The cost of medical services in India is lower than Bangladesh, Indonesia, Malaysia and Sri Lanka”. “We can form a network with dispensaries across Odisha for use of such systems as part of our telemedicine offering in the future,” he said. Sharad Sharma of Meta Bariatrics in Mumbai said: “Some kind of balance is required as the industry is corporatised. A doctor needs to fit into a more consumer-based ecosystem. We need to be more sensitive to the patients and more bothered about their satisfaction. There are follow-ups and we have to be more comprehensive in the management of patients”.
The awards, supported by healthcare groups including Napier and industry specific consultants PwC, recognised expertise of Indian doctors including H M Prasanna of Prestine Hospital in Bengaluru and Chandandeep Sandhu of Mohali. Other award winners in the list of Asian hospitals and medical experts were R Padmakumar of Kochi, Hiren Parikh of Baroda, Manish Khaitan and Dhaval Naik of Ahmedabad, and Indus Healthcare of Punjab and Murli Krishna Pharma of Pune.