Dr Jitendra Singh moots ‘Heli-Clinics’ for remote areas

New Delhi: Union Minister Dr Jitendra Singh, who is also a renowned Diabetologist, has mooted “Heli-Clinics” / Helicopter Clinics for remote areas, which could particularly be of great help to provide specialized medical care to people living in inaccessible hilly terrains of the States like Jammu & Kashmir and Northeast.

Speaking at “India Health Summit 2018”, organized by Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) Healthcare Council here today, Dr Jitendra Singh observed that the Corporate Hospitals and the leading private sector medical practitioners had mostly got concentrated in Tier-1 or big cities, while the rural and sub-rural areas, more so the remote areas, had been left deprived. However, he said, the cities are almost reaching their saturation point with overwhelming number of private practitioners and therefore, from the point of view of a profitable private practice also, it will be good for the private sector doctors to turn to rural and remote areas.

There are vast stretches of land, particularly in the hill States of India, said Dr Jitendra Singh, where the Corporate Hospitals, either on their own or in a private-public participation mode, could provide helicopter-based super-specialty clinics. He said, for instance, each day of the week, one super-specialist doctor like Cardiologist or Diabetologist or Nephrologist or Gastroenterologist, etc. can, in turn, set up a Helicopter OPD along with the requisite para-medical staff and medicines. On way back, he said, the same helicopter can also carry one or two needy patients to the town or city for hospitalization.

In a heterogeneous country like India, Dr Jitendra Singh said, public sector healthcare run by government will never lose its relevance. But, nonetheless, private sector is gradually assuming a big role and could work in synergism with the public sector.

Dr Jitendra Singh said, Tele-Medicine and e-Healthcare assume a special significance in a country like India to reach the patients in inaccessible regions. Here too, the private sector can play a big role by supplementing the government efforts, he said.

Lauding the Central Government’s focus on healthcare for all, Dr Jitendra Singh referred to some path-breaking decisions in the last four years, which include opening of Dialysis Centres in every district hospital, setting up of Wellness Centres and, above all, launch of “Ayushman Bharat”. He also emphasized the need to incentivize medical practitioners to go to remote rural areas and to provide adequately satisfactory facilities for the government doctors to be able to serve in the rural areas.

During the panel conversation, Dr Naresh Trehan, renowned Cardiologist, spoke about the various new initiatives envisaged by the private sector doctors and the CII Healthcare Council. He said, Indian Healthcare is passing through one of the most exciting times for investment, collaborations and partnerships.

Dr Trehan expressed optimism at the fact that, of late, the public and private healthcare sectors in India are converging.