Tuesday, August 4, 2020

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“Vocal for local will bolster up the health infrastructure of India”- Dr. H. S. Chhabra, Indian Spinal Injuries Centre, New Delhi

Exclusive conversation with Dr. HS Chhabra, Medical Director, Indian Spinal Injuries Centre, New Delhi.
The old proverb ‘Necessity is the mother of invention’ holds true in the pandemic COVID 19 situation. It’s a watershed moment for the entire world in general and India to be very specific when different sectors have experienced an epiphany in different ways. Needless to say, barring a few sectors from urban to rural, industries have been negatively impacted and the pandemic has weighed on all industries.

The health care sector in India has had its share of loopholes and shortcomings and the need for augmented reforms were long overdue. However, the current scenario calls for taking up extensive and preeminent measures to plug in the loopholes and beef up the health care system.

During a freewheeling chat with High on Persona, Dr. HS Chhabra, Medical Director, Indian Spinal Injuries Centre, shared his perspective on the Current Situation and also enlightened us on how vocal for local will shape up the demeanor of the health sector for better.

Q. In today’s context when Covid-19 has grappled the entire world and is like a mind-boggling conundrum for all, how do you suggest to come out of this maze?

The disease may remain around us for a long time, so we need to make habits such as social distancing in public places and personal hygiene parts of our daily life. Public awareness about good practices and prompt reporting of suspected Covid-19 symptoms to physicians is very important. Every citizen needs to support the government in the fight against Covid-19.

Q. Apparently, it seems that Orthopedic has no bearing on corona or the other way round, what’s your take on that?

Orthopedic patients such as those with spinal cord injury and rheumatoid arthritis are susceptible to the disease because they have lower immunity than other people. So, they should also follow standard precautions and hygiene practices like any other person.

Q. How the scenario of the Health care sector is going to change in days to come?

The entire Healthcare sector, being on the frontline, is also under a lot of financial stress, due to a substantial reduction in turnover and expenses on PPE, etc. However, they say there is an opportunity in every adversity. The pandemic has also offered us a good chance to build reliable medical infrastructure at the grass-root level. Focus on rural hospitals and treatment centers can improve the overall healthcare scenario, and meet the requirements for handling not only Covid-19 outbreak but also other common diseases.

Q. Latest developments in the ortho segment?

They say necessity is the mother of invention. The COVID pandemic has motivated various innovations in orthopedic care. Telemedicine has been incorporated in practice and offers various advantages especially considering safety during the pandemic.
Daycare surgeries /centers focussing on Minimally invasive procedures have become more popular. Virtual Reality and Artificial Intelligence are being utilized in order to improve the quality of care. Navigation guided systems and robotic systems are being increasingly introduced into clinical practice and have resulted in increased accuracy and safety of surgery.

Q. Your take on vocal for local for health care industry?

It will provide a good opportunity for the drug manufacturing industry of the country. More focus on research and development in India and the growth of the drug manufacturing sector will help us fulfill Prime Minister’s vision of making India ‘atmanirbhar‘ as far as handling future epidemic scenarios is concerned. The same holds for Personal Protection Equipment industry. The implant industry will also gain substantially and the make in India’s initiative here will get strengthened.

Q. Indian health professionals are fascinated to work abroad, higher packages, and remuneration remain propellers, how the scenario will shift after vocal for local?

With the central government supporting vocal for local, the opportunities for health care professionals would increase, both in the public and private sectors. With reduced costs and incentives for private hospitals and clinics, health care professionals would find benefit.
With government spending on the health care and strengthening of the health care facilities, the opportunities in the government sector are likely to improve as well. This along with increased risks to the health professionals in the healthcare industry abroad will reverse the brain drain and retain more health professionals in India.

Q. How is ISIC ensuring the safety and hygiene of patients and staff during this pandemic? What measures are being taken?

We are careful towards the needs of our patients while ensuring all precautions are available for doctors and other frontline staff. All doctors and members of staff attending to patients are mandated to wear full-gear PPE before they enter the separate reception area or all patients coming to ISIC. Our entire hospital is being sanitized several times a day at regular intervals to ensure maximum safety to the patients.

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