H1N1 death in Pune… Yet another example of “care” in Healthcare


It took a death to bring into play the whole blame game. It also exposed 1. Government claims about the epidemic being in complete control 2. The mentality of Private Sector healthcare providers where providing care is all about business.

A while back I had written a post about how the “care” has gone missing from healthcare and it has come true yet again.

There had been so much news about the flu in Pune and yet the doctors at the private hospital were found lacking in knowledge. To ask a patient or her parents if she has been in contact with any H1N1 person and then treating the patient basis a negative answer… it shows the thinking and complete apathy of the doctors…

I will say it again… healthcare in India is all about focusing on curative and not preventive… With so much about epidemic in newspapers and am sure in social conversation in their medical fraternity… should the doctors have not been more in tune with the symptoms and suggested an immediate testing for the same?? If I read correctly in the newspapers, government is spending Rs. 1000 for a positive test and Rs 500 for a negative one and is not charging a rupee to the patient. Sure in case of such ailments, panic gets a whole unrelated crowd going for tests (especially when it is for free), but a reputed hospital like that recommending a test… it would have been complied with! But then the hospital would not have made any money from referral… so the patients test were sent to another private hospital for testing (it’s all about money honey). And as we all know, on many occasions, tests are used to squeeze more money out of the patient by keeping them in the hospital longer…

And by the way this cynicism about healthcare is coming through because of personal experiences too.. apart from reading and listening to what goes on in the name of healthcare…

I believe that unless and until we change our focus – preventive rather than curative… the population would continue to suffer because end of the day… suffering population means money for all in the healthcare sector…

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3 thoughts on “H1N1 death in Pune… Yet another example of “care” in Healthcare

  1. Samir, it is only people who live in cities talk about focus on ‘Preventive’ rather ‘Curative’ healthcare. My friend, we are far removed from reality in India on this. Just travel to smaller (relative) places in India and u will be shocked to see what is available in the form of curative healthcare. Nothing absolutely. Recently, a few of us met with a road accident where some suffered from broken bones. A doctor at a government hospital wanted to amputate one’s leg. Managed to reach Delhi for treatement and after 2 months the gentleman is walking with leg intact. So, I believe the focus should 1st be Curative Healthcare!

    1. Nitin, absolutely valid argument. But the point is that providing primary health facilities is a given and I believe healthcare has failed even in that. When I mentioned curative vs preventive, the point I was making is about healthcare as a whole. Even in case of your friend, the lack of knowledge on the doctor’s part is indicative of the malaise that exists in our country. WE DON’T KNOW… or rather we don’t want to. The government doctor was treating his stint in that hospital as just a job and not why the profession exists…

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