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Times of India
20 February 2012
Pune India
Healthcare Services

Experts highlighted the need for a regulatory body to audit the provision of healthcare in India, at the 18th annual congress of the Indian Society of Critical Care Medicine (ISCCM) and International Critical Care Congress that concluded in the city on Sunday. The five-day conference began on February 15.

“Similar to the USA’s joint commission of health accreditation, which audits every single facility, quality of treatment and the death rate in a hospital, a regulatory body to audit the delivery of healthcare in India is the need of the hour,” said critical care expert Shirish Prayag “It is time for us to attempt to have an objective review of our health services. The healthcare industry in India is evolving, but through the financial module, which should be analysed; for that an authoritative body is necessary,” he added.

While comparing the western and Indian critical care scenarios, Ken Hillman, professor of intensive care at the Liverpool Health Service, Australia, said, “The intensive care units in India are of international standard. They have developed rapidly in the last 10 years and are well-equipped now.”

The US invests 16% of its GDP in health services, whereas Cuba invests only 9% of its GDP on the same. Despite the difference, the US ranks 26th in the WHO rankings, while Cuba at 28, is only two positions below the US. This is because Cuba concentrates on basic facilities, like educating people with the basics of healthcare, Hillman said.

“As medical services are becoming expensive by the day, the biggest challenge faced by the critical care sector today is to provide the best possible medical facilities at affordable prices,” he added.

Rouby Jean Jacques, director of the Experimental Intensive Care Unit and vice-dean of the University School of Medicine, La Pitie-Salpetriere, France, said, “The job of intensivists is the same in any country. Even in rural India, medical expertise is excellent, just the facilities available differ sometimes.”

A short film titled ‘Resonant Notes’, based on the life of an intensivist, was showcased at the inauguration. Noted actors Benjamin Gilani and Subodh Bhave have acted in the film, directed by Kiran Yadnyopavit.

Intensivist Kapil Zirpe, the conference’s organising secretary, said, “Critical care practices in India have evolved significantly over the past decade. Critical care initially began as a service in major hospitals, but with the formation of the ISCCM, the development of this specialty has been rapid.”

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