'Health care delivery more convenient now'
Dr Vivek Desai, managing director, Healthcare Infrastructure Planning and Management Consultancy (Hosmac) India, told Hindustan Times that over time the higher costs of technology-enhanced health care will come down.
How has health care and delivery changed?
From public health care we have moved on to the private domain and with that more technology has come in. Today, leading hospitals are using telemedicine for giving second opinions and diagnosis. Such changes are cutting the cost of health care delivery for patients, who otherwise have to travel long distances for treatment.
With telemedicine, the rural population is able to get consultations with super-specialist doctors who would not travel to such areas.
From general hospitals we have moved to specialty hospitals, including eye care, day-care surgeries, cancer centres, etc. This has worked in favour of the common man, who doesn’t have to shop around every time for specific treatment in these specialties.
Are these changes for the better?
The cost of health care will rise slightly due to the investments required. However, proliferation of health insurance will help people bear this cost. Also, increase in volumes over time will make it cost-effective.
What more needs to be done?
There is a need for better networking among hospitals to share high-cost diagnostic modalities and reporting by experienced radiologists and transfer data through satellite or web between networked hospitals/diagnostic centres.
How has health care technology changed?
Technology has become more computerised. One such example is the online availability of blood tests done in path labs that send reports by e-mail. This has made health care delivery more convenient and less time consuming.