Date: 4 May 2017
Radha’s Aged Parents:
Living in the US, Radha is always worried about her aged parents, who live in an apartment in Coimbatore. Her father is 75 and mother, 70 years old. Besides age related problems, her father is a chronic diabetic and hypertension patient. Radha is in communication with her parents on phone or on Face Time. As much as Radha worries about her parents, her parents worry about Radha who is working and is single. Radha is now the advisor to her parents – a role that her parents performed for Radha not so long ago!
Krishna is unwell with fever, cough and cold. Neglects the symptoms, takes self-medication and dismisses it as a routine viral. His lungs get affected and cough persists. He asks his friend what he should do? His friend asks him to go to a nearby polyclinic and meet a Doctor. Krishna meets the Doctor who after examination prescribes antibiotics for Krishna for five days and asks Krishna to see him after that. After three days of medication, Krishna feels better, throws the medicines in the dustbin and gets back with life. He does not go to the doctor for review and, nor does the doctor remember to call Krishna. He has other patients like Krishna to attend to and forgets Krishna!
In India, we go to a doctor based on recommendations and needs. We seek medical advice based on our perceived illness. We run to a hospital, register, meet the specialist, undergo various tests and at the end of the day, if we feel better with the treatment, we thank God and forget the doctor and, get on with life. If we don’t get better, we change the doctor based on recommendations from friends and relatives or mere heresy!
Govinda’s State of Mind:
Govinda’s wife developed fever a fortnight ago. It was static at 100 deg F. He took her to a Doctor practicing General Medicine, who prescribed medicines. After a week there was no improvement. Took her to a Specialist Doctor in a Hospital who prescribed a number of tests to find the problem that is causing the fever. All tests turned out negative. The fever persisted. Based on advice from a friend, he changed the hospital and went to another Specialist. More tests followed but the fever did not go. Finally, as his wife’s condition worsened, he admitted her in another hospital. Her response to the treatment is better and hopefully in a few days time she would be discharged. Did she follow any structured system to diagnose her medical problem or destiny took her to this doctor for treatment?
Many of us carry multiple prescriptions. Some of the doctors who are specialists do not see all the prescriptions before prescribing medicine for the treatment for which the patient goes to that doctor. Our hospitals are so crowded that the doctors do not have time to talk to patients and examine them. The stethoscope has become a symbol of identity of a doctor. Tests in laboratories, instead of physical examination, have become the order of the day. We spend money to find out the cause of our problem and also to eliminate illness by undergoing various tests. Through the process of elimination, diagnose the disease. We do not maintain any record of our medical history. We believe in Karma and let fate dictate the course of medical treatment.
Radha’s parents need escort to take them to the hospital or clinics when they are sick. They do not know whom to ask. Nobody has time for senior citizens. If they go to a hospital or a clinic they will have to go to various departments for tests and wait for their turn to see the doctor. One needs patience and time to be seen by a doctor who too is hard pressed for time. Is this a happy state of relationship between a patient and a doctor?
My Family Doctor:
Once upon a time, we had a family doctor who was the walking-talking encyclopedia of every family member’s health state! He or she was part of the family. That family doctor treated generations in that family. Family doctors have become extinct. Multiple doctors who are specialists in so many fields have replaced the family doctors. Even the disciplines for super specialization have increased. There are specialists for every part of human body.
Family doctor was a boon to the family. Most of the time he or she treated us and we did not waste time or money for unwanted tests. The faith that we had in our family doctor was implicit. In good old days, the compounder of the doctor used to give different colored mixtures and he knew which mixture worked well for whom in that family! Green color for the father and red for mother! Today even the compounder is missing!
So am I happy with what I go through to get my family and my medical problems attended to by a doctor who has no time for me or, would I prefer a Family Doctor? If family doctors are rare today, is there any way we can replace them by professional care with concern that a Family Doctor provided? How can Radha, Krishna, Govinda’s wife get the treatment and care that they require? Can we professionally monitor supply of medicines to patients and also ensure that patients get quality treatment at affordable cost? Is it possible to give the senior citizens the extra services that they may require? Is it possible for a lady to see a Gynecologist and a dentist under the same roof? Is it possible to consult a good Pediatrician for my son?
Can I cut down waiting time in a hospital and seen by a Specialist Doctor at pre-fixed appointed time? Is it possible that I can get access to alternate medicines under one roof? Can I reduce my expenses for various tests that I may have to undergo? Can I get medicines at subsidized rates and also get refills on time without my remembering? As a senior citizen, can I get help to remind me to take medicines on time? Can I get an emergency gadget that can provide me emergency care? Can I have access to senior care products when I visit the clinic? Can I get an ambulance in emergencies to take me to a hospital, as I am single? Will my doctor be informed about my admission in a hospital?
Covai’s PolyCare is a professional health care centre that provides a wide range of medical services to patients and maintains an efficient and effective monitoring system so that patients get professional assistance at all times. In effect, Covai’s PolyCare will be the “family doctor” for each member of the PolyCare Centre
The concept is to provide professional and personal care as that of a Family Doctor to patients so that they get necessary diagnosis and treatment under one roof and where required, meet Specialists in reputed Hospitals as per the need, which would be arranged by Covai’s PolyCare. Treatment would be monitored to ensure that the patient gets professional care at all times. Covai’s PolyCare will be the nodal centre for its members for diagnosis, treatment, monitoring of medication and maintaining record of every member of the PolyCare and the record can be made available in times of need.
Concept of PolyCare:
The concept ensures that the patient does not go to hospital directly on perceived illness but gets the necessary treatment in a professional and efficient manner with trained staff to assist at all times. The PolyCare will provide not only Allopathy but also “alternative” therapies like Acupuncture, Naturopathy, Hypno Therapy, Acupuncture, Homeopathy, Reiki, and Non-invasive options from trained doctors, physiotherapy and rehabilitation etc. Covai’s PolyCare will be the nodal centre for professional patient’s care. Covai’s PolyCare will cater to all age groups with even ambulance and escort services for senior citizens.
Colonel Achal Sridharan, VSM