Monday, January 05, 2015

What doctors want from the new Health Policy in India

The announcement of a new Health Policy is always an occasion for excitement. With a new government and a dynamic PM at the helm of affairs, doctors are optimistic and hopeful that a new policy will provide a shot in the arm of medical professionals.

Growing Mistrust
Everyone agrees that the Indian healthcare system is ailing. There are too many patients, and not enough doctors to attend to their needs. The outcome ? Growing mistrust between doctors and patients , making a bad situation even worse !
Doctors have become increasingly cynical about most of these Policy documents. They look great on paper, but their implementation often leaves a lot to be desired. The ground reality does not seem to change, no matter how many 20-point plans and policies the government comes up with.

Government policies are great at laying out ambitious targets and crafting exciting visions. However, they seem to be full of meaningless platitudes such as delivering " Health for All" . Most of these remain "pie-in-sky" dreams because they are divorced from reality.
What Government health policies forget is that the heart of medicine today is exactly the same as it was a hundred years ago - it's the relationship between the doctor and the patient. Policies should help to nurture this doctor-patient relationship , and make it stronger. We need to help doctors to become more productive and efficient, so that their patients can trust them to do the right thing.

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