Healthcare, Doctor, and the Patient: Guest blogger Dr. Shalini Ratan

Healthcare is one of India’s largest sectors, in terms of revenue and employment, and the sector is expanding rapidly. It is going beyond its “institutional” role.

It is taking a transition from a “Disease-centric” to a “Patient-centric” approach. It is extending its role from treatment to prevention and up to healthy lifestyle. Today it is not only about medicine and treatment but also about self management, fitness, diet and wellness.

Healthcare users are continuously growing in number. One growth driver for this is India’s booming population, currently 1.1 billion and increasing at a 2% annual rate. This is due to a decline in infant mortality rate and extended longevity. The ageing of the population and the prevalence of chronic diseases is increasing the need for hospitalization. This would lead to an increase demand of doctors, nurses, pharmacists, beds and an increase in cost per treatment.

There is a rise in diseases like dengue fever, viral hepatitis, tuberculosis, malaria, and pneumonia. They have returned in force or have developed a stubborn resistance to drugs along with emergence of diseases such as AIDS as well as food- and water-borne illnesses.

Another growth marker is the expanding urbanization, and the increase in the...

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4 Comments

  1. VALLURI RAMARAO
    Posted Aug 2013 at 2:44 pm | Permalink

    Health care boom and disease boom is true. There is definitely demand for health professionals. It doesn’t mean family doctor has no role. In India still family medicine need to be introduced and to be promoted. . Please see Cubs model. There the family doctor plays s vital role .In India the young graduates are attracted by specialization
    Mind set patients is changed. For minor ailments they look towards specialist .For example patient with headache consult with neurologist. There are poly pharmacy for minor things. .

    Even supply of generic medicines is still dream.
    The author should see PHCs how they are poorly managed. One should remember practicality of practice. Primary care needs revival. The super specialisation caused more harm than good. Let us not happy with disease boom. I have seen different situation in my service and practice. I really appreciate for certain aspects of article but family physician is the need of the hour in Indian situation. Please recommend for strong primary care.

  2. Arun Mehra
    Posted Aug 2013 at 7:48 pm | Permalink

    Dr Shalini,
    All this is possible due to the advances in technology that we have had in the last 2 decades.

    Unfortunately, the expectations of patients have have become very high, unrealistic at times. They believe that ANYTHING can be managed (read: cured). And doctors have played a part in creating such unreasonable expectations.

    Furthermore, many, many people associate quality with price, and believe it’s all a matter of money. I have myself come across situations where patients (attendants, actually) make statements like “we will pay any amount, just guarantee the patient will recover”. This probably follows from a mindset where people believe money makes them king, and it’s all the more true of those who have newly come into the affluent class.

    While we cannot change people’s mindsets, we have to see that we do not inadvertently contribute to creating such expectations either.

  3. Dr. Shalini Ratan
    Posted Oct 2013 at 4:43 pm | Permalink

    Valluri…I appreciate your comments. I also agree for the need of a primary physician which you have highlighted.

    Well here the point is about a Doctor’s approach towards the Patient…Specialist or Family Physician.

    One would need to widen the horizon from the traditional mindset towards the changing scenario. I have not mentioned that family physician is not required..I said that the dependence which patient had on a family physician is not seen today. There is lack of trust which once used to be there. So one would need to revive that.

  4. Dr. Shalini Ratan
    Posted Oct 2013 at 4:48 pm | Permalink

    Dr. Mehra…..Patients have changed as part of the developing Society. So even doctors today would need to shift from Profession to Professionalism.

    Regarding Quality and Price. They have always been together and will remain so. Now how much this should be applied in healthcare could be a question.

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