Peerless Hospital is a trusted name in eastern India’s private healthcare sector BE’s Anustup Roy Barman spoke with Dr. Karpurakayastha, Managing Director, Peerless Hospital, regarding his hospital and on his expectations from the sector.
Q. How do you perceive the Indian health sector?
A. Healthcare in India is in adifficult place. In India, a small percentage of money is allocated for healthcare in comparison to other developed countries. Though the advanced nations are also struggling as the cost of healthcare has increased. In India, the main problem is uneven distribution of resources. Resources are mostly concentrated in urban areas. In India, the resources are engaged in curing illnesses rather than preventing these. There is a need for a consolidatedeffort from the government.
The government is bringinghi-tech technologies from abroad and when the technologies are here, the population will bepressed to use that. These technologies will entail increased costs. Basic education is also very important to curb illnesses. Many cases in the emergency unit are of road accidents. Road safety education can cut that rate down. The main part of diagnosis is asking questions and knowing the patient. If I am not doing it carefully, it might leadto wrong treatment.
Q. With the amount of pressure on government hospitals, is there any scope of taking the time to know the patient properly?
A. They do not have that luxury. That is why private healthcare has boomed in India. About 65% of the population takes private healthcare in some form or other. The government hospitals are unable to cater to a large section of thepopulation. We cannot blame anyone but the system for this. Less availability of medical education has led to this. There is a smaller number of doctors graduating every year. This is creating a gap, which is leading to excess pressure.
Q. Is it money that is drawing the doctorstoprivate hospitals?
A. No, that is not always the case. They earn reasonably well in government hospitals too. They also have the opportunity to practise privately in afterhours. Training is an issue that needs to be taken care of. Suppose there are 100 doctors graduating every year. All of them would try to get a post graduate degree. Not all of them will get that. About 20 will get that and become a specialist. The rest are becoming the subject of exploitation. As they do not have any specialized training, they will be lagging behind. We do not have any general practitioners. Small problems lead us to hospitals. We should be training more general physicians in a prescribed course like in the western countries. We should assist them in setting up centres and help them financially. This will minimise the load fromthe hospitals.
Q. How has GST affected this sector?
A. Changes are being made under the new system. It will take time to tell the effect. Certain components in health care will be taxable under this system. The cost might shoot up a little. We are waiting to see what happens.
Q. How is Peerless is placed in the sector?
A.We are placed well. We charge reasonably. We probably do everything that other private hospitals do but our cost is the lowest among the other private hospitals. We have done this intentionally. A bill of some lakhs cannot be afforded by all. The technology is costly but myconsultation is not. We need compassionate doctors. We aim is to create an environmentwhere the professionals can practise in a professional and ethical way. No doctor is ever asked about how much business he or she has generated on a given day. All the hospitals have the latest technology but our specialty lies with the application of the technology.