Doctors at KEM Hospital have turned to the most ubiquitous personal technology - the smartphone - to speed up diagnosis of patients with suspected heart complications. They have started using the popular smartphone messenger 'WhatsApp' to send pictures of patients' electrocardiograms (ECG) to each other for a quick review, saving time spent on reaching the emergency ward and checking the actual report. The approach enables them to begin the treatment of a person who has suffered a heart attack within the crucial golden hour, the period when emergency care is most likely to be successful. Delay in proper diagnosis and treatment during this period results in amajority of cardiac fatalities. In fact, over 60 per cent of patients who have suffered a heart attack reach the hospital way beyond the golden hour, the average being about five hours. So every moment they spend waiting for the doctor to arrive and study their ECG increases the risks. "The moment a patient walks in here complaining of chest pain or any other related problem, a specialist takes out an ECG and sends the image to the doctors on hand," said Dr Prafulla Kerkar, head of KEM's cardiology department. "We, in fact, have a WhatsApp group where the experts in our department are signed in." more at http://www.mumbaimirror.com/mumbai/others/Docs-use-WhatsApp-to-save-heart-patients/articleshow/27252815.cms
R Srinivasan’s credible government document on healthcare in India titled ‘Health Care in India – Vision 2020’ draft published in 2004, sub-titled ‘Issues and Prospects’, has suggested four criteria that make a just healthcare system 1. Universal access, access to an adequate level, and access without excessive burden.2. Fair distribution of financial costs for access and fair distribution of burden in rationing care and capacity and a constant search for improvement to a more just system.3. Training providers for competence empathy and accountability, pursuit of quality care and cost effective use of the results of relevant research.4. Special attention to vulnerable groups such as children, women, the disabled and the aged. Srinivasan's draft is dated; but the criteria are relevant even today as India’s healthcare system remains in a very sordid state.A recent study by IMS Institute of Health Informatics (19 July, 2013) has revealed that 72 percent of the rural Indian population has access to just one-third of the country’s available hospital beds while 28 percent of urban Indians have access to 66 percent of the total beds. The study also notes that those living in remote pockets have to travel more than five kilometres to access an in-patient facility, 63 percent of the time.
Evidently, the country’s historical spend on healthcare, apart from immunization programmes, has not been enough. WHO statistics show the total expenditure on health is 4.4 percent of the GDP, for a population of 1.27 billion. As a result of a low healthcare spend and lack of special attention towards this sector and absence of concrete regulatory policies, India’s healthcare system is in shambles.Here is a picture of the current healthcare scenario: Universal Access and Financial Costs: The IMS study noted that long waiting time and absence of diagnostic equipment at public facilities has caused an increasing number of patients to rely on private healthcare facilities. Quality of treatment is also a reason why patients switch to private centres. However, this shift from public to private care is posing an affordability challenge to poor patients. Training and distribution of Health workforce: Statistically speaking, Indian cities have four times the number of doctors and three times more nurses than in rural areas. Meanwhile, almost 80 percent of the medical colleges are located in South and West India. The direct impact is a dearth of trained professionals practicing in rural India.
Public health experts and activists are attacking a proposal by India's leading government think tank that recommends handing many of the country's healthcare responsibilities to the private sector.
The document, written by India's Planning Commission, proposes eliminating the government as the primary healthcare provider. Instead, it would focus on specific areas such as immunisation and HIV testing. Getting rid of many of its other responsibilities would amount to a shortcut to its goal of universal healthcare. Patients would get private healthcare at a cost that the government would negotiate with the private sector, and service providers could be reimbursed for each medical prescription.
The proposal, which is similar to the managed care system in the United States, caused such a ruckus that some of the major parties who contributed to the plan have distanced themselves from it. Members of the High Level Expert Group set up by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, say that the commission has distorted their recommendations.
"Planning Commissions' document calls for a 'managed healthcare' approach where the role of the government is reduced from a provider to that of a manager," said Rakhal Gaitonde, a public health researcher and state coordinator for the government's National Rural Health Mission in Tamil Nadu.
“Whooping cough, or pertussis, is an infectious bacterial disease. It affects infants and small children and can be life‐threatening in unimmunised infants younger than three months of age.”
Via Troy Mccomas (troy48)
Ganesh Prasad Mishra's insight:
Indian immunity much stronger and much better, thanks to wP
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