Patients want doctors to listen to them: Survey
Doctors who listen
This refers to the report “Patients want doctors to listen to them: Survey” (Business Standard, April 16). Doesn’t it look odd that we needed a survey to tell us which was something basic taught to  everyone who had anything to do with medical profession, during the 20th Century? Times are changing. We need a downloadable APP for everything today.
Despite the priority to universal health coverage given by governments at the Centre and in states, the government’s responsibility to ensure minimum healthcare along with other basic needs has been getting diluted in the recent past. Time was, when we had the family physician who knew the patient and her family and the health record of each individual in the family without seing any paper or computer screen.
Sometime ago, there was a report about the efforts of Manipal Health Enterprises to dispense with the comprehensive primary and polyclinic-style preventive and curative wellness services in residential areas, and bring back the dying family physician mode. This is worth emulating nation-wide by the medical profession and service providers in the area of healthcare. The model of the National Health Service (NHS) in UK, which takes care of the healthcare needs of each citizen by linking them to general practitioners (GPs) and good hospital facilities, may be a distant dream for a country like ours, though, with a population over 1.2 billion and limited resources being allocated to healthcare.

Still, with advanced technology, linking the healthcare needs of each family to a local doctor, primary health centre, private hospital or at least a health inspector from the state government health department would create more health awareness, improve preventive healthcare and reduce delay in diagnosis of cases where quick medical attention would minimise the chances of complications.
May be Aadhaar-linking could be thought of here also.

M G Warrier, Mumbai


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