EXCLUSIVE: Dr Sunita Dube OPENS UP on doctors' safety, necessary reforms and government hospitals

Sunita Dube, a renowned MD Radiologist, Philanthropist, and Healthcare Entrepreneur shared about her campaign, how the general public or government can aid doctors and necessary reforms among others.
Health & Fitness,Coronavirus,covid 19,Dr Sunita DubeEXCLUSIVE: Dr Sunita Dube OPENS UP on doctors' safety, necessary reforms and government hospitals

We cannot thank enough the doctors, GPs, surgeons, nurses and other healthcare professionals who are working round the clock and fighting with COVID-19 on ground zero. While battling it out with the microscopic villain, many doctors lost their lives while helping and treating several infected patients. It is no news that there is a lack of safety gadgets, safety kits, and medical infrastructure right now and the government is working hard on the same. Meanwhile, the poor health care system has already claimed several lives and has risked many. And we cannot afford to lose more doctors. Unfortunately, the cases are rising at an alarming rate. 

These challenging times have put things in perspective, especially, how vital it is to have a better and well-functioning healthcare system to handle emergencies like COVID-19. Sunita Dube, a renowned MD Radiologist, Philanthropist, and Healthcare Entrepreneur has started a campaign called  'We Doctors' to aid the medical sector. In an exclusive interview with Pinkvilla, she shared about the campaign and also shared her views on how the general public or government can aid doctors now during the crisis, what are the necessary reforms that should start off, and how the status of government hospitals can be better.

Q. Can you share more about your 'We Doctors' campaign?

A: It is a voice that speaks for doctors and the issues they face on various fronts. We are here to support them financially trying to secure adequate benefits for physicians and other healthcare staff who work endlessly and put their life on the line to help. As there have been many casualties amongst the doctors, it becomes a necessity to provide them with proper protection too. The campaign is committed to making hazmat suits or PPE kits available for the safety of the doctors. We are working to get decent compensation coverage for doctors and other health professionals who work hard and risk their lives to help people get better. Besides this, we are actively conducting numerous virtual courses, webinars, and training programs that can be of assistance to doctors on all fronts.

Q. How can the general public or government aid doctors now during the crisis?

A: In the COVID19 war, Indian medical professionals are now constantly suffering on a whole new front. Completely under the control of the global pandemic, the country is on the frontline of the fight cases of physicians, nurses and other healthcare professionals who are shunned by many for fear of being contaminated, apart from this, medical institutions have been facing a lot of problems on the financial front as well. While healthcare workers cannot abandon their duties, the government and the general public can still do a few things that can make it easier for healthcare workers. 

My appeal to the general public is to treat the doctors with respect and try to understand the situation we have been going through is also tough for them. Before visiting the doctor’s office it is the responsibility of the patients to take proper precautions and inform the doctors correctly about their health conditions. The government can also support by helping the doctors with proper insurance deals and take strict actions against the harassments of doctors.

Q. Which reforms should be considered for better health care in India?

A: Increased flexibility in payer reimbursement models, and especially for telehealth and home health services. This model will require payers to provide evidence that telehealth produces similar / better outcomes (for example, data showing that more convenient refills make it easier for patients with chronic diseases to comply better. Technological advances that would include AI-based diagnostics, cloud-based storage of medical records, and the integration of information across the care continuum in hospitals and outside. In tandem with point-of-care systems and home-based monitoring apps, digital technologies to enable the remote contact between clinicians and patients should continue to be developed and enhanced. 

Consumers may want the option to provide end-to-end care, including prescription delivery from home/workplace. Also critical to sustaining the continued use of online / home-based services is the capacity to build trust in the new care setting. These will also require new opportunities and capacity building to support the current operating model.

Q. People still fear to go to government hospitals as there is a lack of resources and hygiene issues among others? Your comment?

A: In the government hospitals, the number of patients is usually higher when compared to the private hospitals because of which you may find the services provided by the private hospitals are sometimes better also taken into consideration that they charge higher fees. Meanwhile in the government hospitals struggle with the funds which they need in order to acquire better technology but regardless there are brilliant doctors with a lot of experience in their fields in government hospitals. 

There might be a lack of resources in the government hospitals but patients can play an important role in a number of safety-related processes, such as helping healthcare providers confirm the correct diagnosis, making informed clinical decisions, and selecting a good provider that aligns with the needs and beliefs of the patient. Patients have also been known as players in the detection, prevention, and recording of medical errors. Mismanagement, communication, policy and lack of care coordination are some of the factors that the government hospitals should work on in order to provide better facilities to the patients.

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