That South India is a favourite to foreigners, lair of the geeks’ and erudite academicians is too old a story. But, before I delve into the other facet of Dakshin Bharat I would like to take my readers quickly through some of the findings of a recent report on the imbalances in the health status across Indian states. The report ‘Governance of the Health Sector in India: Has the state abdicated its role?’ released by the Independent Commission on Development and Health in India and published by the Voluntary Health Association of India says that Kerala, Maharashtra, Himachal Pradesh and Tamil Nadu that account for 18.8 percent of the country’s population have health indicators similar to those in middle-income countries, such as, Venezuela, Argentina and Saudi Arabia. Whereas BIMARU-plus states (Bihar, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Orissa and Assam) that comprise nearly 42 percent of the population have indicators which are close to those in sub-Saharan African countries.

It didn’t come as a surprise during the research work that the four southern states hold a unique position in the landscape of Indian healthcare by having better IT-enabled hospitals than in any other part of the country. Some of them were truly paperless hospitals, with Kerala and Tamil Nadu leading the race. Not just that, most of them are leaders in different spaces like R&D, Health IT, CSR, medical tourism, highly-specialised surgical procedures, etc.

In this edition of eHealth, we offer a glimpse of some of the rising southern stars of Indian healthcare. It was a daunting task to cherry-pick 12 hospitals among the four Southern states of India. Therefore, we narrowed the parameters and, finally, included those who were spearheading the Health IT and patient-centered initiatives in their respective states. However, apart from being in the forefront of adopting latest technologies, the chosen hospitals provide quality healthcare services too. And, again not surprisingly the four southern states have 63% of the nation’s medical colleges and 67% of the total seats some of them are the famed medical colleges of India. And, because of the presence of the best clinical acumen, owing to the notable medical colleges, these states also have many firsts to their credit, such as, establishing the first corporate hospital in India, performing the first heart transplant surgery and the first paediatric heart and lung transplant surgery.

Most of you must be aware about our upcoming annual conference and exhibition ‘eHEALTH India 2009’, scheduled between 25-27 August at the majestic Hyderabad International Convention Centre. Following the resounding success of our last two events (in ’07 & ’08), we are once again gearing up to present you with yet another power-packed three days of conferencing and technology showcase dotted with highly insightful sessions and panel discussions with some of the leading Indian eHealth experts, practitioners and institutions.

See you there.

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