Our poor heart patients.

My country India has predominant rural population. Heart patients need urgent treatment many a times. Over the span last few years, transportation system has improved and patients now can be transferred with available vehicles (some times vehicles used are the one which are used for goods transportation) to near by city or town.  In some states free ambulance service like 108 is doing great job. In majority of my state, I think so no body uses bullock cart for transportation of patients.

Doctor availability in rural setting is still limited, available doctors are not tuned to handle heart patients, but in only in few situations they pickup heart disease and they refer to near by town or city.
In small towns consultant availability is scant, and paramedic staff is also deficient.
From small towns, many a times, patients are transferred to near by city. In cities Cardiologist both non-invasive and interventional are available. Only few centers have cath lab facility, and primary PTCA is still very difficult.

Although people in cities have access to cath lab facility,  most can not afford the treatment. So in bargain  most of the patients get incomplete treatment. Government has started  verity schemes for treating cardiac diseases but it is still for from requirement. Government schemes are directed to only to selected groups, and not for all citizens, this kind of bias, is creating a lot a injustices  for most needed patients.

Government schemes should be directed towards needed patients not to groups. Scheme should be more flexible in the sense, if patients is willing to get better quality of stent than the provided in scheme they should be allowed with appropriate charge discounts.

Worst hit population is lower middle class as these people can not afford heart treatment and  they are not under below poverty line. Even upper middle class have similar story. I think government should look in to this urgently.

Process of claiming the hospital bill should be made as simple as possible, because some good hospitals are rejecting Government scheme patients due lot delay in claim settlement.
Apart from this government, has started reducing scheme money per procedure, this is further forcing the hospital to avoid patients of government schemes.

Dr Umesh Bilagi

MBBS, MD, DM (cardiology). I am Interventional cardiologist. Blogging is my passion. Associate professor of cardiology KIMS Hubli. Director and consultant at Tatwadarsha Hospital Hubli. Owner of Jeevan Jyoti Hospital Hubli. Mobile +91 9343403620.

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