In India, healthcare is one of the largest sectors next to IT. In the last 30 years, there have been considerable changes in healthcare sector; this article gives a gist of these changes.
- Type of care & healthcare set up: Primary health care to tertiary care
- Changing disease pattern: infectious diseases to lifestyle diseases
- Google patient (patient who check the info of their own disease before and after consultation of doctor)
- Dependency on diagnostic tests
- Technology driven: New trends : app, website, tele-medicine, cosmetics, medical tourism, healthcare marketing
- Ownership and management of the hospitals & healthcare set ups
- Home Healthcare
Healthcare Set Up
Primary Health set up/ General Care is where all preventive and primary treatment is given. Secondary health care set up or also called speciality care includes small hospitals where specialised treatment is given including surgical operations, ICU etc. Tertiary care includes highly specialised care with high end technology with highly qualified doctors and located in urban area.
Changing Disease Pattern
In the last couple of centuries, infectious diseases were the major cause of death. Infectious diseases have reduced significantly with the help of antibiotics and vaccines and are now replaced with lifestyle disease like diabetes, heart diseases, stroke, obesity etc.
The Google Patient
There was a time when the doctor was considered as GOD, whatever suggested by the doctor was followed by the patient without any question. Today, before visiting a doctor, our internet savvy & so called elite population Google about their own diseases, treatment, and medicine. A little self-research is fine but making judgement based on that might not be helpful. Unlike past, patients do doubt doctors’ knowledge and opt for a second opinion today. Medical knowledge is vast and deep, there is no same percent correct diagnosis, treatment or prediction for all the diseases. Besides, every patient is different and so the treatment does vary. Patients need to trust on the doctor and rely on the treatment and advice.
Dependency on diagnostic tests or No risk attitude: Earlier when there was fewer diagnostics, diagnosis was dependent on doctor’s clinical skill. Today, doctor and patient do not want to take any risk and prefer maximum investigation ranging from blood test to CT scan etc. leaving no stones un-turned to reach accuracy in diagnosis.
Changing technology & Medical tourism: In the past, disease was diagnosed on the basis of pulse examination & clinical examination and there were lesser equipment for diagnosis. X-ray, USG, echo, CT, MRI, are the newer tools to diagnose and treat the patient
IT has given maximum access to patient and providers to know and contact each with no time.
Apps, devices, tele-medicine, cross-country exchange of knowledge, opinion, video conferencing, digital medical record, websites etc. adds a lot of value to the medical sector.
Today, we have some of the ‘best in class’ health care delivery systems which can even attract medical tourists from all over the world.
Ownership & Management: Hospitals used to be owned and managed by doctors only; today even a non-medical person can set up a hospital and managed by managers instead of doctors. The benefit of this set up is that a doctor can focus more on treatment and patient care.
Home Healthcare: Today, when grocery to jewelry is delivered at people’s doorstep, the sphere of home healthcare is also emerging. This set-up not just help people heal at home but also reduces the cost and time involved in traveling to an institution for treatment. Portea offers a range of health care services at home; visit: www.portea.com to know more.
These are few of the changes that are observed in the Healthcare Sector. Fortunately, many of these are towards better patient care.