Indian Health Care Sector

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Manne
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Re: Indian Health Care Industry

Postby Manne » 20 May 2004 09:11

GJ,

Let me give you an example to see if I am able to convey my thoughts properly.

What is the time-frame within which one would expect to be treated when one suffers from severe toothache ? I haven't stayed in UK on a long term basis so can't say whether they are like this onlee but the reports I read mentioned folks flying off to Poland to get treated within a week wing-to-wing. Now, if a week is an acceptable timeframe for a toothache and if you are unable to get it in your country then I can't see how that can be held up as a model. Starting point - sure.

40% taxes - wasn't that what I was paying in US anyway and not too long ago in India as well ? :roll:

Prices of drugs - don't think this will be an issue in India the way it is in US/Europe for the next decade at least. The high-end drugs will cost more but medicines for most common problems will continue to cost less. No great point in basing the Indian model on drug prices in US.

cy,

Yes, there will be push-backs on elective surgery and there will be cry-babies running to the newspapers. My point was that maybe NHS isn't the "model" model either. From my limited vision, I can clearly see municipal hospitals in Mumbai being waaay ahead.

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Re: Indian Health Care Industry

Postby Rudra » 25 May 2004 07:11


adesouza
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Re: Indian Health Care Industry

Postby adesouza » 25 May 2004 07:40

From my limited vision, I can clearly see municipal hospitals in Mumbai being waaay ahead.
Muncipal hospitals in Mumbai way ahead of what ? The NHS ? A visit to one of the better hospitals , say JJ, may be instructive.
If, and it is a big if, a part of the profits from providing surgeries to westerners can be channeled back into the public health care system, then it might be worth it. Other wise all it will do is make private health care unaffordable to the indian middle classes.

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Re: Indian Health Care Industry

Postby Cybaru » 25 May 2004 08:07

Originally posted by Manne:
Yes, there will be push-backs on elective surgery and there will be cry-babies running to the newspapers. My point was that maybe NHS isn't the "model" model either. From my limited vision, I can clearly see municipal hospitals in Mumbai being waaay ahead.
You got be $hitting me man! better than muncipal hospitals..

I fell off the bus and got screwed at the hospital. I was afraid to tell my father, I got injured, so I went to the muncipal hospital next to my college... What a bad idea that was! :)

Then later, when my friend got bitten by a rusells viper, we took him there. He almost died, nurse said, "No can treat, he no blue yet! please wait your turn". He later collapsed and then spent 4 days there.. What a fiasco that was.. Sadly only govt hospitals for sure stock anti-venom.

Nah, I say NHS OPD i visited was much better than the municipal hospital I had a chance to visit. You may not get to see your doctor for emergency at NHS, but you get treated by fine Indian doctors at both places.

George J

Re: Indian Health Care Industry

Postby George J » 25 May 2004 08:32

Originally posted by alan desouza:
Muncipal hospitals in Mumbai way ahead of what ? The NHS ? A visit to one of the better hospitals , say JJ, may be instructive......
JJ, GT and St. George (and the ESIS hosp) aint municipal its Govt of Mah. BMC hosp incl.: Sion, KEM, LTMH and Nair. Big diff when it comes to funding and admin. But thats OT.

I am not up on my Public Health Care Payments in Mumbai but everyone I know who got care there pretty much got it for free (except meds) this includes super-speciality surgery.

One of the most telling quotes associated with the quality of healthcare in govt hospitals goes like this:
Friend who is was a med student (now a doc): Dr. X is a good surgeon.
Me: Why do you say that?
Friend: Coz he doesnt kill too many people?
Me: Huh?
Friend: I mean he has very good results based on resources that he has available to him.
Me: You mean other surgeons are careless or in competent in Govt Hosp?
Friend: Well yes and no..either they are incompetent or the equipment fails them and the patient is too poor and ignorant to know the difference.
Now I dont want you smart jingos to crucify me on this vignette but i was greatly influence by my friends observation.

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Re: Indian Health Care Industry

Postby Manne » 25 May 2004 08:53

alan, cy et al:

Yes, if you consider the means they are provided and the masses they handle they indeed are.

alan, I am reasonably well versed with all the govt and BMC hospitals in Mumbai. I know the dark side but I don't close my eyes to the bright side.

added later:

Just saw Gj's post. On the dot.

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Re: Indian Health Care Industry

Postby Babui » 25 May 2004 17:19

I figured that there would be problems at Apollo Hosp, Madras before discharge. The following email is from my sister:

"...as usual we were harassed during discharge too. we were told he would be discharged at 11 am. he reached home at 6 pm!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! there were billing problems galore. his discharge summary came only at 5 pm. he was asked to go for a last minute echocardiogram at 4:45. we had all lost our patience by then. sanjay had to scream at them at 5 o'clock to hurry things up. oh, and i forgot to mention - on friday night at 8 pm i had to scream at the night manager after they informed us at 8 that the night duty nurse will not be comin. and at 7 they had asked ma and me to go home coz the nurse will be comin at 7:30. thank god we did not. till 8 nobody came. when we asked them wht was goin on, they said nobody is comin. that was the last straw. i blasted the manager left, right and centre. i was so angry that i started crying. the manager was forced to keep a staff nurse on duty for the night. still, ma stayed back because we were not confident that they would take care of baba. he had to be given an extra unit of blood coz he had low haemoglobin (now he is normal). the service was so bad at apollo that nobody would answer his bell for 1/2 hour or more. oneday he was bleeding from his leg and nobody came to his room when he pressed the bell. ma had to go till the nurses' station and scream at them before they came.

we paid 16263/- extra for the 'extras' - 4 days room rent, extra medicine, extra medical tests, nurses fees and misc(???). sanjay and i had a fight with the billing dept on each of these items. eg- we were initially told (by a staff nurse) that sp.nurse's fees are 300/- for each 12-hr shift. we were finally billed 350/- for each shift! we also made them give us a complete breakup of misc.

it was all a big nightmare. thank god its over...."

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Re: Indian Health Care Industry

Postby Babui » 25 May 2004 17:23

In case anybody is wondering - the total cost of the heart surgery and stay in hospital (approx 11 days) was Rs 173,913.
My Dad had to stay a couple of extra days because of postponement of surgery.

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Re: Indian Health Care Industry

Postby Rudra » 25 May 2004 18:46

Babui, glad to hear your father is ok now.

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Re: Indian Health Care Industry

Postby Cybaru » 25 May 2004 21:19

If you are not going to use apollo again, might as well print your story in leading newspapers.. Time to use media for good things versus all the nonsense they routinely print.

Good to hear you father is doing well.

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Re: Indian Health Care Industry

Postby putnanja » 26 May 2004 00:06

Dr Reddy's gets USFDA nod for Fluconazole

IN a major boost to its patent challenging strategy, Dr Reddy's Laboratories Ltd, the Hyderabad-based global pharmaceutical major, has obtained the tentative approval of the United States Food and Drugs Administration (USFDA) for the abbreviated new drug application filed on Fluconazole, indicated for the treatment of fungal infection.


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Re: Indian Health Care Industry

Postby manju » 26 May 2004 03:09

Originally posted by Babui:
In case anybody is wondering - the total cost of the heart surgery and stay in hospital (approx 11 days) was Rs 173,913.
My Dad had to stay a couple of extra days because of postponement of surgery.
My granfather fot a bypass at Narayaan Hrudayalaya in BengaLooru (the same place where a Paki kid had heart repaired).

So far he is doing ok.

The best part was, it all happened almost free. He was enrolled in a scheme (insurance?) called "YASHASWINI' where he paid a very nominal amount- 60 rupees per month (or year, am not sure) through a agro society - KMF (Karnatak Milk Federation)..

I think he paid only for angiogram but the surgey was free....

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Re: Indian Health Care Industry

Postby putnanja » 27 May 2004 00:30


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Re: Indian Health Care Industry

Postby putnanja » 27 May 2004 22:48


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Re: Indian Health Care Industry

Postby abhejit » 02 Jun 2004 06:27

US losing its drug scientists to India

The pharma sector is also witnessing creation of job opportunities in the sector and the return of Indian pros from the United States. For the US, it will mean a loss of up to 10 per cent of its drug scientists.

Of some 250 research scientists working at Dr Reddy’s Laboratories, 20 have returned from foreign shores. They are involved in new drug research. At Lupin Laboratories, four scientists came from the USA to join research in natural product chemistry. Ten of the 80 researchers in Nicholas Piramal have come from abroad and Wockhardt has weaned away 10 scientists for biotechnology, new drug research, chemistry and pharmacology.

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Re: Indian Health Care Industry

Postby Aruni » 02 Jun 2004 17:17

<img src="http://www.protonriver.com/post_images/aruni_healthcare.gif" alt="" />

Full text here-

http://www.epw.org.in/showArticles.php?root=2004&leaf=03&filename=7015&filetype=pdf

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Re: Indian Health Care Industry

Postby SaiK » 08 Jun 2004 07:41


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Re: Indian Health Care Industry

Postby Rudra » 10 Jun 2004 00:48

Female infanticide on rise in punjab, haryana, chandigarh

http://www.the-week.com/24jun13/currentevents_article1.htm

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Re: Indian Health Care Industry

Postby Mort Walker » 10 Jun 2004 01:08

Can anyone tell me how many non-govt. hospitals that perform open heart surgery are all over India? Any estimates? This doesn't include the smaller nursing homes that one would see all over Indian cities.

George J

Re: Indian Health Care Industry

Postby George J » 10 Jun 2004 18:48

Mort:
Tertiary Care Hospital data is hard to come by. If you dont count 'nursing homes' you will be grossly undercounting these procedures too. But you can only count what you can see.

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Re: Indian Health Care Industry

Postby Mort Walker » 10 Jun 2004 20:07

George,

The nursing homes (not to be confused with old age homes - as these are actually small hospitals) proliferated through every city in India do some good work. Is there any estimate as to how many perform major thoracic surgery and what other major services?

On occasion you hear of horror stories about government hospitals where infants died due to the lack of oxygen or when people die due to quacks or doctor strikes. I think these small nursing homes do provide a great deal of health care, but their quality varies.

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Re: Indian Health Care Industry

Postby Sagar » 10 Jun 2004 22:38

Fact:

A cousin of mine (in her mid fifties), moved to Toronto about 18 months ago. She had a good life in Gurgaon but believed that things could only get better in Canada. The medical system of Canada was also a great allure.

After about a year, she started experiencing stomach pain and was prescribed medicines. She continued her treatment (medicines) while her condition deteriorated. She started retaining water and was described by some as being 9 months pregnant.

Finally the canadian medical system consented to have other tests done. But the appointment for the next visit would be 4 weeks. The wait list at canada, and the high cost in the US made India an attractive option. She sent her test results to Delhi. The initial diagnosis was ovarian cancer and she was asked to get to India ASAP.


After her check up in Delhi, she was put on Chemo and given an initial life expectancy of 6-9 months. Since then, she has recovered sufficiently that the doctors conducted surgery on her two weeks ago. We are keeping our fingers crossed.

George J

Re: Indian Health Care Industry

Postby George J » 10 Jun 2004 23:22

Originally posted by Mort:
George,

The nursing homes (not to be confused with old age homes - as these are actually small hospitals) proliferated through every city in India do some good work......... great deal of health care, but their quality varies.
I know what Nursing homes are...they are called Nursing homes for legal reasons (bed/staffing/specialities). In fact the concept of hosptice and skilled nursing facilities dont exist in India. Old age homes are the equivalent of a retirement home.

Its very difficult to generalize Nursing homes too, most are tiny acute care secondary hospitals doing L&D most of the time and routine gen. surgery the rest of the time. With a cardio-thoracic procedure you need to have an ICCU and thats not always viable.

Given the non-standardization and proliferation its very difficult to get numbers.

I dont know where you intend to go with this but 82% of healthcare delivery in India is pretty much via private for profit or charitable not-for profit establishments. Quality of care is secondary to access to care. If someone had the money and access to a private hosptial maybe his infant wont die...just maybe. These are disconnected issues in India.

But lets not fool ourselves into believe that this is merely a 3rd world problem, there are enuf and more glaring examples of this in the first world too. King Drew medical Center in LA for one.

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Re: Indian Health Care Industry

Postby Manne » 11 Jun 2004 08:40

Originally posted by Sagar:
But the appointment for the next visit would be 4 weeks.
Sagar,

I feel happy for you and your cousine. There are several such cases. This matches with the news reports I read in UK which I mentioned earlier on this thread.

Mort & GJ:

Forget ICCUs in nursing homes, I would be interested in knowing which nursing home has a proper AC system (multiple filters, 5 micron mesh et al) for their OT where they would perform the heart surgeries. I kid you not, the AC is a very critical aspect of heart surgery infrastructure and has a big role to play in survival rate and post-op care of the patient. The nursing homes have their place in the scheme of things but CVT ops.....whew! :eek:

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Re: Indian Health Care Industry

Postby putnanja » 26 Jun 2004 03:43

Yashaswini scheme is turning out to be a boon for Karnataka farmers...

‘Yashaswini’ mother gives birth to triplets

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Re: Indian Health Care Industry

Postby svinayak » 03 Jul 2004 05:35

Five lakh people infected with HIV in 2003: NACO

Pioneer News Service/ New Delhi

First the good news: The rate of HIV infection has slowed down, especially in states where it was highly prevalent. But the battle is far from won. A new danger of spread in the disease is lurking in the infected needles that drug users share.




About five lakh more people have been infected with HIV last year, according to data released by the National AIDS Control Organisation (NACO) on Friday. At 51.06 lakh infection uptill now, less than one per cent of India's population has been infected by the virus. The increase has largely been in rural areas, especially among rural women.



The prevention strategy has been encouraging with decline in spread of the infection in the six high-prevalent states, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Manipur and Nagaland. The states have shown a consistent downward trend in spread of the disease in general population.



But the the new monster has raised its head, the form of spread of disease among intravenous drug users in metros like Delhi, Mumbai, and Chennai. These mainly comprise of migrant and floating population in these cities. The danger is when these infected drug users also infect the spouse. Studies conducted by the Ministry and Social Justice corroborate that drug users are on the rise in metros.



Delhi has seen a sharp increase of cases of HIV among drug users, from 2.4 per cent of the total drug users in 2001 to 14.40 per cent in 2003. Chennai startled health workers with a jump from 24.56 per cent of drug users being HIV infected to 39.11 per cent. Mumbai has seen a decline in the corresponding time, from 41.37 per cent of the total users in 2001 to 22.29 per cent in 2003.



The study also found that the spread of disease through risky sexual behaviour is spreading faster in rural areas. Earlier, for every three persons infected in urban areas, one would have been infected in rural areas. Making the disease a scourge of the urban areas. Now, the disease is as prevalent in rural areas as in urban.



This puts rural women at higher risk. They face multiple disadvantage. First, they are ignorant about the infection. Second, they have no means of protection against the disease, and condom is almost not heard of. Third, they are infected by their partners, who have multiple sexual partners.



Women formed a quarter of those infected earlier. Now their numbers have increased to one-third of those infected.

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Re: Indian Health Care Industry

Postby SSridhar » 22 Jul 2004 16:18

Latest image-guided 3D surgical system in Coimbatore

I read a similar news item in a hospital in South Tamilnadu recently. The availability of sophisticated tools is definitely increasing, but the concept of "service" in hospitals has to improve tremendously.

Babui's experience quoted above is not isolated. This is generally the norm.

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Postby Vasu » 06 Aug 2004 01:29

Fortis to expand hospital network; plans IPO

FORTIS Healthcare is planning to expand its network of hospitals across North India at a total investment of over Rs 1,100 crore in the next five years.

The company is focusing on increasing its capacity to 4,000 beds in 10 hospitals, up from the existing 600 beds in four hospitals. As part of this initiative, Fortis will be setting up a medi-city in the footsteps of John Hopkins Medical Centre at Gurgaon in Haryana.

Called Fortis International Institute of Medical and Biosciences (FIIMBS), it will house a medical college, an attached hospital, other allied sciences institute and a referral centre among other facilities.

Other northern region markets that could see the setting up of Fortis hospitals are Jaipur, Shimla, Jalandhar, Ludhiana and some other smaller towns.

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Postby Gerard » 08 Aug 2004 23:56

BBC article

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/3935861.stm

India woos Africans for medical cure

Analysts find India becoming a health destination for African patients a bit of an irony, and point to the fact that public spending on health in Tanzania - 1.3% of GDP - is actually a tad more than India's.

They also point out that half of all Indian children are undernourished and half of all adult women suffer from anaemia.

They say most of these private islands of medical excellence which woo foreign patients are out of reach of the average Indian, and their runaway growth points to the abject failure of the public health system.

George J

Postby George J » 09 Aug 2004 05:02

That D_I_C_K_H_E_A_D does not know that 0.9% of 2.29 TRILLION bucks is more than 1.3% of 700 BILLION. And 0.9% of spending accounts for 20% of overall healthcare spending and is meant for INDIANS and not medico-tourists who are supposed to PAY for care.

When it comes to journalism this article ranks pretty close to crap.

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Postby Vasu » 11 Aug 2004 05:34

ISRO, C-DAC Back Kerala’s Telemedicine Project

ISRO is to offer high bandwidth VSATs for the telemedicine operations. Amrita Hospital (AIMS) in Kochi already is in telemedicine net, but it is the first time that two Central institutes - ISRO and C-DAC - are working together for a state government telemedicine initiative.

Telemedicine facilities would be introduced in five medical colleges, 14 district hospitals and two taluk hospitals in Kerala.

Industry experts point out that medical specialisati on has made it virtually impossible for a community of fewer than 500,000 people to support all of the types of doctors that the residents require.

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Postby Vivek_A » 30 Sep 2004 02:19

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/arti ... 868332.cms

Outsourcing blues? Have a heart!

WASHINGTON: India's great outsourcing debate with the United States may have just moved from software to 'heartware.'

Defeated by exorbitant health care costs in the United States, a North Carolina worker flew into New Delhi over the weekend for a heart surgery on the cheap.

Howard Staab was wheeled into the Operation Room at Escorts Heart Institute at 9 a.m. on Monday listening to "Oh Brother, Where Art Thou," with dhanyavaad written on his chest with a purple marker.

He was out in the Recovery Room by 3.30 p.m. with "every best case scenario plan implemented," according to his partner Maggi Grace. A team of doctors led by the well-known cardiologist Dr Naresh Trehan fixed a broken mitral valve in his heart.

The cost of the procedure and after care in India – less than $ 20,000, compared to the $ 200,000 Staab was asked to fork out in the US.

Although 'health tourism' and outsourcing of medical procedures has been on the horizon for some time, this is one of the first instances of an American worker seeking out India for high-end medical treatment.

"This is happening because of the prohibitive cost of health care in the US," Dr Vinay Malhotra, a Seattle cardiologist said in an interview while assessing the milestone event. "I don't see the medical profession here objecting to this, but if this becomes a trend, the insurance companies could well be up in arms."

Howard Staab's health woes began in July this year when doctors discovered a broken heart valve after a routine physical. A 53-year carpenter with an active lifestyle, Staab never had – and could not afford --health insurance. Some 45 million Americans do not have health insurance, which can now run up to $ 500 per month per individual.

When he shopped around post-diagnosis, insurance companies quoted astronomical premiums for policies with limited benefits because it was a pre-existing condition.

"I've always thought that the insurance companies are the real terrorists of our country," Staab said in an interview to a local paper later. "They put terror in everyone's mind. You don't have insurance? You could have a catastrophic accident or illness."

But with no insurance cover, Staab and his partner Grace began exploring other avenues for affordable treatment. Around this time Grace's son Bryan Maxwell, a medical student at Stanford, had returned to the US after spending the summer in India.

Maxwell and his professor from Stanford, Dr. Sakti Srivastava, connected the couple to Dr Trehan, the New Delhi cardiologist who now has a fabled reputation after returning from New York a decade back to set up practice in India.

When they landed in New Delhi in the early hours of Saturday, they were received at the airport by Dr Trehan's staff who scooted them past hundreds of passengers to get them through customs.

"Everyone is so incredible. No worries. Howard is waited on like royalty," Maggi Grace recorded on the website www.howardsheart.com , which chronicles their Indian healthcare experience.

According to Dr Malhotra, India is a relative newcomer to the healthcare tourism from the U.S. Americans have been trickling into specialized hospitals in Thailand and Singapore even as healthcare costs have been rising fast enough to cause cardiac arrests among the working class and senior citizens here.

A report released by a non-profit outfit Families USA this week said insurance premiums have gone up by 36 per cent in the last four years and are rising three times faster than workers' wages.

"For a blue collar worker earning just above minimum wages, what is the option?" asks Dr Malhotra. "India will become the destination as more and more lay people know about this."

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Postby SumitG » 30 Sep 2004 03:27

Vivek_A wrote:http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/868332.cms

Outsourcing blues? Have a heart!

"


Psy-ops by Vicki Cheng in a news report on this -
http://www.howardsheart.com/newsobserver_comhowardsheart.html

Grace is worried about the toll the long flight will take on Staab's weakened heart. She marvels that they will soon land in a city of millions, where they will get around by rickshaw -- a small, two-wheeled vehicle pulled by a person.

She has immunized herself against hepatitis A, tetanus, meningitis and polio. She has been warned about malaria and been told that even bottled water can be unsafe. But she said she doesn't think they have a choice.

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Postby Sohum » 01 Oct 2004 20:28

Bhatia Hospital Looks For New HMIS

By Amit Tripathi
Mumbai, September 29, 2004
url

Pressurized with increasing data loads, Bhatia General Hospital, Mumbai, has initiated a process for acquiring a new Hospital Management Information System (HMIS), which is expected to replace its existing Softscript HMIS.

Speaking to CXOtoday, Hari Vishwanathan, manager-IT, Bhatia Hospital, said, “The Softscript HMIS that we have been using since the last three years is now unable to handle the increased traffic as a result of growing demand from the hospital. At the same time we want a solution that can provide necessary analysis as far as business development is concerned.” The hospital would in all probability go operational with the new HMIS by March 2005.

According to Electricwala, the solution will be rolled by November 2004 among 20 branches and in the central office, across 200 plus users. The solution resides on Oracle 9i, while the operating system at the server level is Windows 2003.

OMNIEnterprise is a comprehensive banking solution that that provides enterprise wide automation capability to a bank on a single technology backbone with full integration, event driven processing and customer-centric account management.

In terms of ROI, Electricwala stated that being the head of IT he was very concerned about the return in investment, which should not be more than 3 years.

Sharing one of the key concerns faced by him as head of IT in the banking vertical, Electricwala stated, “Reserve Bank of India (RBI) -- the apex bank of our country, is also the regulator, whose norms we have to follow from time to time. However, despite the good intentions, sometimes what looks good on paper does not necessarily translate into the same in reality.”

Speaking further he observed, “Ambitious initiatives like Real Time Gross Settlement (RTGS) and NDA initiated at the RBI level though conceptually may be right, but technically is a highly complex set of tasks. Such kind of initiatives needs a lot of planning and very competent and skilled staff.”

Voicing his concern further, he remarked, “And finally in all this it is the big vendors who are calling the shots. It is they who are arm twisting small co-operative banks.”

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Postby jrjrao » 21 Oct 2004 17:43

Excellent. From the Washington Post.

Surgeries, Side Trips for 'Medical Tourists' -
Affordable Care at India's Private Hospitals Draws Growing Number of Foreigners

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/ar ... tml?sub=AR

George J

Postby George J » 21 Oct 2004 19:39

jrjrao wrote:Excellent. From the Washington Post.

Surgeries, Side Trips for 'Medical Tourists' -
Affordable Care at India's Private Hospitals Draws Growing Number of Foreigners

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/ar ... tml?sub=AR


Hey i just did a talk about outsourcing hip replcements. BTW above link needs registration. Can someone post its contents? or Parts of it?

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Postby jrjrao » 21 Oct 2004 20:30

George, perhaps this "print-page" link will work. In any case, here is the article:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp-dy ... ge=printer
Surgeries, Side Trips for 'Medical Tourists'
Affordable Care at India's Private Hospitals Draws Growing Number of Foreigners
By John Lancaster
Washington Post Foreign Service
Thursday, October 21, 2004; Page A01


NEW DELHI -- Three months ago, Howard Staab learned that he suffered from a life-threatening heart condition and would have to undergo surgery at a cost of up to $200,000 -- an impossible sum for the 53-year-old carpenter from Durham, N.C., who has no health insurance.

So he outsourced the job to India.

Taking his cue from cost-cutting U.S. businesses, Staab last month flew about 7,500 miles to the Indian capital, where doctors at the Escorts Heart Institute & Research Centre -- a sleek aluminum-colored building across the street from a bicycle-rickshaw stand -- replaced his balky heart valve with one harvested from a pig. Total bill: about $10,000, including round-trip airfare and a planned side trip to the Taj Mahal.

"The Indian doctors, they did such a fine job here, and took care of us so well," said Staab, a gentle, ponytailed bicycling enthusiast who was accompanied to India by his partner, Maggi Grace. "I would do it again."

Staab is one of a growing number of people known as "medical tourists" who are traveling to India in search of First World health care at Third World prices. Last year, an estimated 150,000 foreigners visited India for medical procedures, and the number is increasing at the rate of about 15 percent a year, according to Zakariah Ahmed, a health care specialist at the Confederation of Indian Industries.

Eager to cash in on the trend, posh private hospitals are beginning to offer services tailored for foreign patients, such as airport pickups, Internet-equipped private rooms and package deals that combine, for example, tummy-tuck surgery with several nights in a maharajah's palace. Some hospitals are pushing treatment regimens that augment standard medicine with yoga and other forms of traditional Indian healing.

The phenomenon is another example of how India is profiting from globalization -- the growing integration of world economies -- just as it has already done in such other service industries as insurance and banking, which are outsourcing an ever-widening assortment of office tasks to the country. A recent study by the McKinsey consulting firm estimated that India's medical tourist industry could yield as much as $2.2 billion in annual revenue by 2012.

"If we do this right, we can heal the world," said Prathap C. Reddy, a physician who founded Apollo Hospitals, a 6,400-bed chain that is headquartered in the coastal city of Chennai and is one of the biggest private health care providers in Asia.

The trend is still in its early stages. Most of the foreigners treated in India come from other developing countries in Asia, Africa or the Middle East, where top-quality hospitals and health professionals are often hard to find. Patients from the United States and Europe still are relatively rare -- not only because of the distance they must travel but also, hospital executives acknowledge, because India continues to suffer from an image of poverty and poor hygiene that discourages many patients.

Taken as a whole, India's health care system is hardly a model, with barely four doctors for every 10,000 people, compared with 27 in the United States, according to the World Bank. Health care accounts for just 5.1 percent of India's gross domestic product, against 14 percent in the United States.

On the other hand, India offers a growing number of private "centers of excellence" where the quality of care is as good or better than that of big-city hospitals in the United States or Europe, asserted Naresh Trehan, a self-assured cardiovascular surgeon who runs Escorts and performed the operation on Staab.

Trehan said, for example, that the death rate for coronary bypass patients at Escorts is 0.8 percent. By contrast, the 1999 death rate for the same procedure at New York-Presbyterian Hospital, where former president Bill Clinton recently underwent bypass surgery, was 2.35 percent, according to a 2002 study by the New York State Health Department.

Escorts is one of only a handful of treatment facilities worldwide that specialize in robotic surgery, which is less invasive than conventional surgery because it relies on tiny, remote-controlled instruments that are inserted through a small incision.

"Our surgeons are much better," boasted Trehan, 58, a former assistant professor at New York University Medical School, who said he earned nearly $2 million a year from his Manhattan practice before returning to India to found Escorts in 1988.

Although they are equipped with state-of-the-art technology, hospitals such as Escorts typically are able to charge far less than their U.S. and European counterparts because pay scales are much lower and patient volumes higher, according to Trehan and other doctors. For example, a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan costs $60 at Escorts, compared with roughly $700 in New York, according to Trehan.

Moreover, he added, a New York heart surgeon "has to pay $100,000 a year in malpractice insurance. Here it's $4,000."

In addition to patients from other developing countries, top Indian hospitals derive a significant share of foreign business from people of Indian origin who live in developed countries but maintain close ties to their homeland. But the same hospitals now are starting to attract non-Indian patients from industrialized countries, and especially from Britain and Canada, where patients are becoming fed up with long waits for elective surgery under overstretched government health plans.

"If you can wait for two years for a bypass surgery, then you don't need it or you're dead -- one of the two," Trehan said. "Similarly, if you're wobbling on your frozen joints for two years because of a waiting list, it's a human tragedy."

One such patient is Tom Raudaschl, an Austrian who lives in Canada and earns his living as a mountain guide. Suffering from osteoarthritis in his hip, Raudaschl last year decided to undergo "hip resurfacing," a relatively new procedure that involves scraping away damaged bone and replacing it with chrome alloy. He learned he would have to wait as long as three years if he wanted to have the operation under Canada's national health plan, a delay that would have cost him his job, Raudaschl said. In the United States, the procedure would have cost $21,000, he said.

So this month, Raudaschl flew from Calgary to Chennai, on India's east coast, where a surgeon at Apollo Hospital performed the operation Wednesday for $5,000, including all hospital costs, Raudaschl said by telephone from his hospital bed.

"As soon as you tell people that you're going to India, they frown," Raudaschl said. But he said he could not be more pleased with the service. "They picked me up at the airport, did all the hotel bookings, and the food is great, too," said Raudaschl, whose private room was equipped with Internet service, a microwave and a refrigerator. Most important, Raudaschl said the surgeon told him he would be "skiing again in a month."

To cope with its backlog of cases, Britain's National Health Service has begun referring patients for treatment to Spain and France, although for now, the health service limits referrals to hospitals within three hours' flying time, according to Anupam Sibal, a British-trained pediatrician and Apollo's director of medical services.

"Nobody even questions the capability of an Indian doctor, because there isn't a big hospital in the United States where there isn't an Indian doctor working," he said.

Before they would admit him for surgery, Staab, the heart patient, said hospital officials at Durham Regional Hospital asked for a $50,000 deposit and warned that the entire cost of treatment could run as high as $200,000.

Katie Galbraith, a hospital spokeswoman, confirmed in an e-mail that hospital costs in such cases typically are in the neighborhood of $100,000; the surgeon's bill, which is charged separately, would have added tens of thousands more. Patients such as Staab who do not qualify for charity care often are offered a payment plan, she said.

Staab was discharged from the Indian hospital Monday and was recuperating at a nearby hotel. He planned to return to Durham after visiting the Taj Mahal.

SaiK
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Postby SaiK » 02 Nov 2004 23:00

http://us.rediff.com/news/2004/nov/02rajeev.htm
Are we irritating nature too much?

ASPuar
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Postby ASPuar » 03 Nov 2004 00:32

Indian Medicare or Medicurse (TOI)
Indian hospitals going all out to atract foreigners even as prices rise for Indians due to this, and poor Indians are denied treatment.
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/arti ... 908076.cms

SaiK
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Posts: 36405
Joined: 29 Oct 2003 12:31
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Postby SaiK » 14 Nov 2004 00:46

http://www.hindu.com/2004/11/14/stories ... 090300.htm

10% of diabetics are indians.

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i thank totally westernized industrial approaches to food processing, right from sugar to chemical additivies. we will only wake up on a research study by some ngo!, i hope that happens.

type-2 is especially linked to food habits, stress, and exercise. thanks to tv too. nobody hears the news of linkages between polished foods like white bread, rice etc changes the structure of the complex carbohydrates that screws up our digestive process cycle.

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http://www.bharat-rakshak.com/phpBB2/po ... st&p=68805
Diabetes: ongoing research

Studies over the last three decades indicate a rising prevalence of diabetes in India. The WHO estimates every fourth diabetic in the world to be an Indian. Who is at risk? What does research reveal? What is the latest in treatment?

‘UN-SUGARY’ FACTS

* Currently about 26-27 million Indians are known to be suffering from one or the other form of diabetes.
* About 16 per cent of the metro population in India above the age of 20 is diabetic (Type 2) as against an average of 12.1 percent for urban India.
* Of the rural population comprising 70 per cent of India’s one billion people, about 2-3 per cent suffer from diabetes.
* 14 per cent of urban Indians also suffer from a pre-diabetic condition called the impaired glucose tolerance (IGT), which is a precursor to diabetes.
* Almost 26 per cent, or more than a quarter of India’s adult urban population, have some form of glucose intolerance.
* Epidemiological studies have revealed that Indians are genetically
pre-disposed to getting diabetes.


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