Bracing for New Normals in Healthcare in India post COVID

Healthcare e-SUMMIT organised by HEAL Foundation discusses living with deadly virus

New Delhi: In the wake of the fait accompli that we have to live with COVID 19, healthcare in India as elsewhere is primed to undergo a sea change. Healthcare e-SUMMIT organised by Heal Foundation, a healthcare advocacy group, in collaboration with ICCIDD brought expert heads together to discuss emerging issues on August 6.

The unfolding situations of COVID-19 in India exemplify that it is here to stay. No one expected that the pandemic will change the dynamics of healthcare, setting a new normal. As the pandemic is all set to change healthcare, we need to know certain things. Where do we stand in the pandemic? Are Vaccines or medicines still a distant dream? The discussion focussed on the future of the healthcare industry in India in post COVID.

The largest 2nd India Healthcare e-SUMMIT panel included experts from across the spectrum for deliberating on respective significant issues.

Throwing light on the future of healthcare industry post COVID, Anand Shrivastava,Chairman, Maharishi Ayurveda, said, “COVID-19 has taught us so many lessons in healthcare such as how to continue our lives in the emerging new normal as it is going to stay with us. Especially, it has taught us that we can’t live with comorbid conditions now. We need to make our immunity stronger.”

In the changing dynamics of healthcare practises and emerging new normal, opinions from across the sectors about the essence of ‘Home Care’ which seems to be the affordable and accessible solution in such a time of crisis have been gaining ground.

Elaborating on the essence of ‘Home Care’ Mr Vivek Srivastava, Co-Founder & CEO, HealthCare atHome, said, “There has been a dramatic change in the acceptance of Home Care in the wake of the outbreak of COVID-19. A large number of people are opting for Home Care and we have been receiving an increased number of queries. Even in a survey with an oncologist, it came out that 50% of cancer patients are seeking chemotherapy at home. There has been a dramatic shift at all levels whether patients, doctors or government. The Delhi Government has also recommended for Home Care at massive scale. And insurance companies are also covering all aspects of our services in-home care. We are the first to launch Home Isolation services in the country, and we are running it for all Fortis Hospitals across the country and for Delhi government as well.”

Answering a query regarding doctor-patient relationship Dr Sonia Lal Gupta, MD Metro Group of Hospital, said, “The importance of Doctor-patient relationship in terms of understanding the disease and the adherence of the therapy has increased in COVID times. Education and awareness is the only way to curb the upsurge of the pandemic. The COVID-19 has brought one big thing in healthcare — Telemedicine. India can develop Public Private Partnership (PPP) for better accessibility and affordability of healthcare for everyone.”

On the prevalent changes brought about in the lives of Doctors by COVID-19, Dr Sushil Kumar Jain, Laparoscopic Surgeon, Apollo Hospital, New Delhi, said, “As the doctors are the busiest lot always fall short of time, and earlier they couldn’t manage quality time for their families as well as following their hobbies and other necessary pursuits, but during COVID-19, they are able to spare time for themselves. Now they manage time to connect with their kith and kin, though digitally.”

“We need to learn how to live with the emerging new normal. Don’t fear, think positive and be positive. In the tough times of COVID, there has been lots of medical supply. We are running 400 home offices to facilitate the supply chain. We are also using drone services to improve the possible supply of essential medical devices and consumables in remote and hilly areas”, said, Mr Vivek Tiwari, Founder & CEO, Medikabazaar.

Speaking on how to take care of the mental health of children, Ms Yvonne Biggins, Mental Health & Wellbeing Expert, Day to Day Health, London, UK, said, “It is very important to provide safety and assurance to children, deal them with gratitude and kindness during the pandemic.”

Speaking in the 2nd India Healthcare e-SUMMIT, Ms Shwetima Jamwal, RJ, 98.3, Radio Mirchi, J&K said, Every tough time makes us learn new things, and during the ongoing unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic, we have been learning new things day by day such as how to face the difficulties and overcome challenges. We are getting stronger in testing time.”

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