July 2017

Aiming to Correct Imbalances In Quality Tertiary Healthcare

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AIIMS Raipur and AIIMS Bhopal have been established with an aim to correct regional imbalances in providing quality tertiary level healthcare in central India and impart medical education and training in under-served areas. Prof (Dr) Nitin Madhusudan Nagarkar, Director, AIIMS Raipur, with additional charge as the Director, AIIMS Bhopal, in conversation with Arpit Gupta of Elets News Network (ENN), highlights the key steps taken so far to improve the health delivery system and future growth plans.

What are the key healthcare services offered by AIIMS Raipur and AIIMS Bhopal? How do you ensure quality of these services?
AIIMS Raipur and AIIMS Bhopal are among the six All India Institutes of Medical Sciences established by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India, under the Pradhan Mantri Swasthya Suraksha Yojna (PMSSY). The initiative aims to correct regional imbalances in providing quality tertiary level healthcare in the country and attain self-sufficiency in graduate and postgraduate medical education and training in under-served areas of the country. AIIMS Raipur and AIIMS Bhopal offer healthcare services pertaining to all the broad specialities, both medical and surgical.
The hospital attached to the AIIMS Raipur has a multi-speciality OPD. The hospital’s current capacity is 400 beds, which is projected to expand to 960 in the near future. It also has functional state-of-the-art Operation Theatres (OTs). With the commissioning of all blocks of the hospital, the number of OTs is planned to be increased to 30. Surgeries – both major and minor are being performed in the hospital on a routine basis. In fact, AIIMS Raipur also boasts of the first open heart surgery having been done among the six new AIIMS.

The institute offers diagnostic services in pathology, microbiology, biochemistry and radiology. AIIMS Raipur has digital radiology unit, a mammography unit, an OPG (orthopantomogram) set-up, CT (computed tomography) scan and DSA (digital subtraction angiography). MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) is in the process of being installed and will be functional soon.

Similarly, AIIMS Bhopal has the latest CT and MRI machines. All the laboratories have the latest and the best equipment. Patients coming to AIIMS Raipur and Bhopal can purchase medicines at a discounted price from the AMRIT (Affordable Medicines and Reliable Implants for Treatment) pharmacy located within the campus near the hospital building. The institutes also offer services in AYUSH systems of medicine. These services will complement the allopathic system of medicine offered to the patients.

Monitoring mechanisms are in place in every department and facility to ensure that quality is maintained in delivering healthcare services. Faculty members are encouraged to visit other places within the country and abroad so that the best facilities can be replicated and offered to the public of central India.

QAIIMS Delhi has emerged as the centre of excellence for medical learning and healthcare research in India, how do you plan to have high quality medical care and teachings along with focus on research?
The mission statement of AIIMS Raipur includes excellence in medical education, training and research. The institute has an excellent central library spread over three floors covering about 15,000 sq ft floor area. The top floor of the library houses the state-of-the-art e-library and journal section. Around 5,000 medical and nursing books and about 500 books of general reading are available in the library. The institute subscribes to around 400 journals. The Wi-Fi internet facility is available on all three floors of the library. 

AIIMS Bhopal has an excellent library housed in a separate building. AIIMS Raipur provides robust infrastructure and a conducive atmosphere to facilitate research. Both institutes already have received permission for starting MD (Doctor of Medicine) and MS (Master of Surgery) courses in few specialities. More seats will be added with induction of faculty and expansion of infrastructure and services. MD/MS students will have mandatory hands on training in research methodology. The institutions will have their own PhD courses. Intramural seed grants are being given to faculty members on competitive basis.

Senior faculty members monitor these activities. Faculty research presentations are planned to be held once a month on rotational basis. Extra-mural research grants will be solicited and cross country research promoted. The institutes already have institute ethics committees to monitor and facilitate research. A Department of Biostatistics, Clinical Epidemiology and Clinical Research Secretariat will be established to facilitate all round research in all the departments. This department will proactively help the faculty and researchers to design research projects, research proformas, data analyses, maturation of research hypotheses, assistance in clinical and field trials and collaborations.

Which innovations you seek to introduce in AIIMS Raipur and Bhopal to improve healthcare delivery? How is information technology bringing efficiency to your operations?
AIIMS Raipur and Bhopal have introduced online registration and appointment facility for the benefit of patients. Patients can take appointments as per their convenience and spare themselves the difficulty of having to stand in long queues. The institutes have also started preparing and maintaining electronic health records of the patients, thus making retrieval and referral just a few clicks away.

Telemedicine OPD services were started by AIIMS Raipur in collaboration with the CRPF on April 2, 2013. The services are being provided twice a week on every Monday and Thursday. This service specifically caters to the population in remote and inaccessible areas of Chhattisgarh, especially LWE (Left Wing Extremists) affected areas.

Both these institutes have focussed on public health issues relevant to their geographic regions like malnutrition, sickle cell anaemia and head and neck cancers.

The institutes strive to make all relevant information available to the general public on their websites. Plans are underway to introduce public lectures. Eminent speakers will be invited to talk on topics of public interest pertaining to health.

Since its establishment in 2012, AIIMS Raipur’s bed strength has increased to almost 400 now, and by the end of this year it is expected to reach 960 beds. What are your future plans?

The Standing Finance Committee (SFC) of the Institute has approved the setting up of a School of Public Health (SPH) under AIIMS, Raipur. Centres of Excellence for cardiac care, neurosciences, nephrology and oncology have already been approved by the Government of India to be developed in the hospital complex in Tatibandh. A Tribal Health Research Centre and a School of Tropical Medicine are also planned to be started in the future.

With increasing infrastructure and induction of more staff the institute will require to add the available housing units in its residential campus at Kabir Nagar, Raipur. HSCC (India) Ltd. has been nominated to prepare DPR (detailed project report) for this housing project (phase – II) for 191 units for Rs 100 crore.

Where is Indian healthcare system headed in view of the recent initiatives by the government and the industry?
In the Union Budget 2017-18, the overall health budget has been increased to 2.27 per cent of the total Budget. In addition, the Government of India has brought down the prices of various implants and is pushing for prescription of generic drugs. The government is also encouraging the healthcare industry to produce equipment, infrastructure, implants, etc. locally under its ‘Make in India’ campaign. These and other initiatives of the government ensure that the rising cost does not become a stumbling block for availing quality healthcare services by the common man.

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