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Health infrastructure – an example of an affordable service

Dr VK Bahuguna

September 8, 2022, 05:31:45

The fundamental architecture of good governance in any society gives a special place to the quality of medical and health infrastructure apart from good education, housing and of course excellent public order machinery. The corona pandemic severely exposed the Chinks in India’s healthcare infrastructure as we saw people dying from shortages of oxygen and ventilators in the country as even the so-called best hospitals in Delhi and India other metropolitan cities were woefully lacking in life support systems. Then there were sharks everywhere delivering fake Remdesivir and raking in lots of moolah to the detriment of people’s health.

If we look at the health scenario, we see that the hill state of Uttarakhand has suffered a lot in terms of covid deaths among the highest in the country which is continuing although the state boasts of an All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in Rishikesh which also catered to patients from Uttar Pradesh too. Delhi has always been the focal point of all Indians towards AIIMS and other government hospitals like RML and Safdarjang till recently when several institutions similar to AIIMS were established. However, given the lack of concentration in the management of these AIIMs, the health services are far from satisfactory. Take the Human Resources Development Policy of recruiting all Group B and C positions, including general-purpose employee positions like helpers and drivers, etc., through an organized common entrance examination across India. This created more problems than fixing labor engagement. The Ministry of Health should have identified certain categories of lower positions for which the entrance examination should have been organized on the basis of the state where the AIIMS are located. In Rishikesh, people who have served for more than 5-7 years and who have contributed to the establishment of institutions have been fired and medical services are affected.

Private hospital infrastructure however has proliferated all over India but it is criticized for greed and stealing with many unnecessary procedures which it inflicts on unsuspecting patients who are like sitting ducks for these hospitals. There are many cases that go unnoticed as the medical supervision in these hospitals even in Delhi and other cities is negligible. The rich and powerful are happy to do business with these private hospitals as they can afford any amount for their health leaving the poor breathless.

However, this writer came across a hospital in Uttarakhand whose operation he reviewed after assessing that the implementation of the covid protocol by the Uttarakhand state health department was more in breach as the covid 19 cases were completely overlooked by the chief medical officer. Dehradun officer. This writer came out covid positive on the 16th of August and it wasn’t until the 18th that a doctor from Doon Medical College phoned who was told to go through the protocol but after that there was no contact or support not only in this case but in several other cases. When the illness became serious, I had no choice but to choose a private hospital that has a reputation for providing affordable health care to the people of this hilly state. I was admitted to Sri Ram Himalayan Institute of Medical Science Jolly Grant which is working on AIIMS model line. This institution was established by Swami Ram in 1995 with the aim of providing ethically sound medical services to people of this reason when medical services in Uttarakhand were negligible. It admits 150 MBBS students and 120 MD/MS students annually with a 1200-bed Himalayan hospital equipped with 950 hostel rooms and excellent faculty accommodation with all state-of-the-art medical facilities provided including four oxygen plants . The institute offers a super specialty program in surgical oncology, cardiology, neurosurgery and neurology, doctoral programs, fellowship programs and paramedical programs. The institution adopts a competency-based curriculum for undergraduate and postgraduate departments.

The institution is set in a beautifully landscaped green space of 200 acres in the foothills of the Himalayas and its clean and lean ambience gives this institution a beautiful look where the patients are treated with care and the treatment procedures are affordable and at a reasonable price. Amidst other private hospitals, this place is an ‘oasis in the desert’ so to speak and anyone can visit here to see how its 3500 faculty and support staff silently treat over 5.5 lakh outpatients and 60,000 inpatients each year. In any institute of higher learning, the library is the key to judging the effectiveness of the learning process. The library is open every working day with access to the latest 19,000 books, 191 journals and 1,671 e-journals. The institution has a state-of-the-art auditorium, lecture halls, laboratories and demonstration rooms. Considering the quality of the professors, the National Medical Commission has recognized this institution to train medical professors for 19 medical colleges in Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh and Himachal Pradesh. It has international research collaborations with nine institutions like Rock Stock University of Germany, IBC Denmark, University of Wisconsin in USA and other AIIMS and every year more than 150 research papers are published in reputable journals.

The monthly bills amounting to 17 crore are based on self-generated income and without any reliance on loans/grants etc. This shows the goals of Swami Ram in providing affordable and ethically defined medical services to underprivileged sections of the population by creating a self-sufficient international community. standard health care for the people of Uttarakhand has been met. The hospital was named first in the country for treating the largest number of patients under the Government of India’s AYUSHMAN scheme. It is also an example for other health care institutions to emulate in meeting the aspirations of the public. Today, Jolly Grant is the premier medical school and health care institution in this part of the country and it matches the quality of any good AIIMS. Government of India as well as States should financially support and promote these ethics based institutions as an incentive to ensure better healthcare and make them the focal point to ensure healthcare facilities especially for sections and disadvantaged regions of the country.

(The author is the former Director General of the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change, Government of India)

(travel info)

About Jean R. Manzer

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