Emerging HealthCare trends – Suvobrata Ganguly

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chawm g (25)aThe last ten years have witnessed a tectonic shift in the way medical science has progressed, reaching out to those in the need with state of the art critical care. While advancement in the science of medical care and the way ailments are diagnosed and treated has literally gone ballistic, the major break-though has been in the area of dissemination – in ways and means of administering medicine. And this has been brought about, to a very great extent, by the mushrooming of Multi and Super Specialty Hospitals that have come up primarily around Kolkata. It is extremely heartening to note that this trend is now witnessing a coming off-age of sorts with such facilities now spreading into the tier-II and tier-III cities of the state, ensuring a balanced growth that is well dispersed and universally accessible.

The biggest plus that these entities have brought about is in the way the common man is treated by the care givers. Gone are the days of Governmental apathy where one was forced to swallow a bitter pill with no channel to vent is complaints. As a matter of fact, as opposed to the doling out of services a-la the state sponsored medical facilities, these Hospitals have provided the hitherto unknown and much needed balm of service with a human face that is conscientious to boot.

Incorporating the latest practices of hospital management that is of globally acceptable standards these entities have, to a very great extent, done away with the dread that used to accompany even the very mention of the term hospitalization. Managed on corporate lines, efficiency levels are exemplary with the support staff adding value not only to the machines that have been deployed but also the specialist doctors who use them to dispense the treatment.

Another unique feature that has worked as a huge plus is the presence of seasoned Doctors, experts if you may, who have been involved not only with the setting up of these entities but also with their daily functioning. Sans the Red Tape that bound them in the hospitals of yore, these doctors have helped build facilities ground up with total attention to the wellbeing of the patient. Naturally, even small things have made huge differences, helping these hospitals evolve into the institutions of excellence that they have turned into.

A simple matter – that of providing on the spot assistance with the insurance claims that used to be a huge headache has been streamlined to such an extent that “Cash-Less Hospitalisation” has really become a boon to the patients as opposed to being the bane that it was. Similar is the case of getting tests done – with almost all facilities under one roof, the miasma of blind running around too has been done away with. And what is perhaps the most creditable achievement of these hospitals is the fact that they have been able to ensure that all these services are provided at price points that are extremely competitive, ensuring that healthcare become truly affordable.

Little wonder then that these hospitals have given rise to a whole new industry called medical tourism, wherein patients from the hinterlands – including those from many a neighboring country – are regularly coming to access the medical facilities that are on offer. That they have put the city on the global health map is no mean achievement, especially in view of the fact that till the other day, the trend was opposite – with Kolkata patients seeking medical help outside the city and the state.

R.G.Kar, Nilratan Sarkar, Bidhan Chandra Roy the list of doctors from Bengal who had attained cult status is endless – what these hospitals have done to the doctors carrying their proud legacy forward is empowerment. Doctors today have been equipped with a plethora of diagnostic aids and life support systems that are cutting edge, ensuring that the overall efficiencies go up manifold, which in turn have ensured that the quality of medical care that is on offer is witnessing a move into progressively higher orbits.

The presence of these hospitals and their runaway success has also, in its wake, created a demand for support staff whose training too has been taken care of by them. The result is palpably obvious at the kind of quiet efficiency with which these young professionals move about doing their job. Apart from the point of employment generation and skill development, in a region that is woefully underdeveloped economically, such moves have also opened a world of opportunities to the sons and daughters of the soil. Needless to say, the investments that these Hospitals have attracted and the revenues they generate with their services all go to create wealth which ultimately has a positive bearing on the local economy.

Another unique feature of these hospitals is their Sustainable nature. The new facilities that have come up are not only eco-friendly but are also sustainable, incorporating the latest thoughts about keeping the needs of future generations in mind. Most of these facilities have an enviably low Carbon Footprint, are energy and water neutral. Energy audits are conducted at regular rests and some are even toying with ways and means of embracing non-conventional energy sources to cut down on their dependence on grid power. Their waste disposal systems are exemplary all of which go to ensure that they take more than adequate care to ensure that they maintain the fragile eco-system in which they operate.

(the piece was written for the Express Health Guide)