Friday, August 22, 2014

Week 6: Visit to a Hospital on Assignment

Visiting hospitals outside the western world are always such an eye-opening experience. This time, I visited the hospital in order to compare the level of care in India to the United States, and in this way also see how the clinic can improve health care for patients.

First of all, people do not schedule appointments with primary care physicians in India. They appear to form long lines in the hospital that may cause them to wait up to 2 hours before being able to sit down and wait for the proper doctor. Women must indicate a father or husband taking care of them, and must indicate which kind of specialist they would like to see.

The specialists rooms consist of about 2-3 doctors and some interns, and 2-3 patients are served in the same room at the same time in this particular hospital. Doctors visits do not appear rushed, but they only last a few minutes. Patients carry their own records with them but the hospital keeps a patient history copy with them.

On the negative side, hospitals can become easily overcrowded and there may often not be enough beds for sick patients. Patients may be stationed in the hall and all patients sacrifice privacy for care. They appear to be often understaffed because of overcrowding, and patients are forced to stand in long lines for hours in order to receive care. On the other hand, care is only 10 rupees at government hospitals -- completely affordable. And drugs appear to be far more reasonably priced than in the United States.

In addition, by my analysis, level of care appeared to be very good if people could afford it. The hospitals appeared to be sanitary and primary care clinics appear to be well-equipped. Some general doctors appeared to have less experience in certain fields than others, but specialized doctors appeared to be well-trained for their fields and primary care physicians were well-trained for common ailments.

In some ways, I felt that the level of care was better than the United States has provided in past. Here, everyone who needs care is able to achieve at least a primary care visit. The only difficulties appear to be in laboratory testing, which may come as a hindrance to pregnant mothers, tuberculosis patients, etc. in receiving proper treatment and care. However, DOTS treatment for TB patients is free and drugs appear to be completely affordable for the average Indian citizen. The government takes a much more hands-on approach at providing reachable health care for average citizens. However, they work much more strongly on public/preventive health medicines for their people.

1 comment:

  1. It's always fascinating to learn about the differences in everyday tasks between the U.S. and other countries. There are always pros and cons, as these issues are incredibly complex. However, experiencing these differences can often lead to improvements made on both sides. I hope you use these new insights as you continue on your Public Health path!