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Monday, May 20, 2013

How Modern Healthcare is Touching Lives – Two Decades of Change



June 1993 - flush with exuberance of the European holiday, we landed in the 43 degree hell of Delhi. Heat, dust and dirt hit us sharply. We went for a routine check-up and the doctor, discovering a hernia, advised an operation.
I asked the doctor – can it wait, and he said it should not. I had faith in the surgeon’s competence but barring the surgery, which was performed under GA, the post surgery experience was nerve wracking – writhing, moaning, nauseous and in extreme agony. The surgery had been fine but the hospitalisation was for five days and the four inch long incision needed stitches took time to heal and was advised bed-rest for almost three more weeks. There was a long list of do’s and don’ts. The hospital was not very clean and patient care left a lot to be desired even though this hospital was run by one of the best surgeons of Delhi.
It left an inedible scar on the psyche – dread of visiting a hospital with its clinical smell of phenyl and stark blue uniforms of the staff, the filth and stench in the restrooms, patients waiting in the heat, pain and hunger and thirst and no respite of any kind.
Cut to twenty years later: The modern healthcare has come a long way from this dismal state. Today hospitals are picture postcard aesthetically designed – landscaped gardens and bright, cheerful flowers – hygienic cafeterias dishing out menus of all kinds – courteous amiable and friendly staff and doctors – sympathy and compassion. All this doesn’t take the patients disease or pain away but at least the patient can sit in a physically and mentally comfortable state of mind and think there is hope and know that people care – two very important ingredients for healing and fast recovery.
This year when we were advised a similar surgery, it was not with dread that we approached the doctor. He explained everything on his laptop and we went in for it with a positive spring in our step. This time it was a laparoscopic procedure, and what with the tiny incision, hospitalisation was only for 2 nights and most welcome was the freedom to immediately start all normal activities including driving the car from the very third day. Even the hospital was professionally run and care and cleanliness was of the highest quality.
Doctors are healers and the modern health gadgets, discoveries and research have given them the latest state of the art technology to push the frontiers where no man has ever gone before and to achieve incredible results for the benefit of humanity.
Last week I visited my aged relative. Though normally she is a zesty person, this time I found her harassed and tired out what with the daily drudgery of running a large household. She told me of the stones in her gall bladder that have been sitting very quietly for a long time. ‘I think it’s time to get rid of them after all. And I deserve a much needed rest,’ she said. ‘With the nurses and doctors at my beck and call and no more phones and doorbells to bother me, let me get the operation done and be at peace both physically and mentally.’ She thought it would be a good rest an excellent facility like Apollo, with the staff and doctors art her beck and call – good food, and a holiday from the daily headache of servants, drivers, maalis etc.
Touché. It was with great difficulty that we managed to restrain her and convince her not to go in for the procedure.
That is how with the facilities in organisations like Apollo, modern day healthcare has transformed our lives - delivered us from physical pain, mental tension and psychological numbness, to a positive volition for a better quality of life.

1 comment:

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