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The future of Indian healthcare lies in academic-field based partnership

As institutions and industries around the world continue to reform, re-think and re-position themselves in the digital age with changing workplaces, Indian healthcare industry remains painfully in need of healing. Investment inefficiency and investment insufficiency have guided the healthcare dialogues ahead.

While the world talks about disruptive innovation, many healthcare institutions in India have been living in comfortable quarters adhering to outdated and obsolete norms by Medical Council of India.

There is something about the healthcare profession and the healthcare industry which we must after all acknowledge and respect. Comparing with other sectors, the healthcare industry deals with humans. It is serious enough a profession which deserves innovation, reforms and strength to boost the work there is that needs to be done.

Dr. Kamal Mahawar in his book, “The Ethical Doctor” mentions that the code of ethics laid down by the Council is a “comical compilation of rules and values that no mortal doctor can ever dream of adhering to in its entirety.”

In the backdrop of this outline, it is obvious that academic institutions need to follow rules, but rules are made by whom and for whom, is what needs to be thought through and discussed. Academia does not always know the problems in the field and the field institutes do not engage with academic institutions leading to a major fragmented effort when the goals are the same and the future is shared.

Hospitals and medical colleges need to look beyond the narrow prism of merely enhancing patient loads. Marrying strengths of academic institutes with that of field based organizations will lead to promising opportunities for collaboration, dialogue and a lifelong friendship. Encouraging cross fertilization of ideas that lead to long term branding, growth and progress requires a visionary leader who is able to think beyond just returns on investment. Not everything boils down to money.

The brand incarnate that makes great institutes great, are the people and not money. Many a times, institutes invest peanuts and get monkeys in the bargain because their underlining dogma is to enhance their profit and not yearn for quality. Some of the most creative and promising collaborations have been built because of cultivating personal ties which have created opportunities, provided flexibility in the work at hand which has then set human souls on fire unleashing the best of human potentials.

The logic is simple and straightforward, you may run the best academic institution in the country, but that is of no value to the society around you if it remains theoretically sound but practically absent. Likewise field based institutions may do the best of work in the field, but what is the worth of it, without gaining significant and recent updates that enhance the quality of that work. Innovations can be accelerated with bold, visionary alliances which also help deliver solutions to pressing challenges and at the same time leap-frog institutional growth, differently and geometrically.

I am a strong proponent of collaborative ideas to be propelled forward. No government, no university, no institute, no organization can really work in isolated quarters and consider they are doing the best. The definition of what is best has been re-defined from time to time by the human capability and potential. What Indian healthcare needs today is a new vision for a globally competitive economy that serves as an interface for knowledge sourcing, idea generation, investment and societal good.

The world has leap-frogged big-time in the IT sector, manufacturing, automobiles, but healthcare revolution is still a burden to be borne rather than a loyalty to cherish. Shall we unleash the healthcare industry potential, together?



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