New Model(s)

New Model(s)
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Dialysis centers started at three government hospitals in Kashmir have accumulated a huge waiting list of renal failure patients. According to sources, patients awaiting the free dialysis facility have already crossed 500. The three dialysis centers were started last year at District Hospital Anantnag, District Hospital Baramulla, and JLNM Hospital in Srinagar. Essentially and stripped of accretions, the issue in contention is that of supply and demand. That is, demand of the essential service outstrips supply. Allied to this generic cause is the nature of demographics in Kashmir: over the years, there has been a copious increase in population. It stands to reason then that when supply is inadequate against the backdrop of increased demographic pressures, problems will ensue. The victims of this issue are patients who, in the specific instance, are unable to get the critical care in contention. Generally speaking, this observation and assessments hold true for medical care and facilities thereof in Kashmir. The problem that accrues hits those the most who are unable to, for obvious reasons, afford private medical care (which constitutes a significant chunk of the population here). Given that this is a generic and an overwhelming problem, how, the question is can the issue be resolved or, in the least, obviated to the extent it can be? The answer might lie in devising new concepts and means to deal with the nagging issue. One measure could be public private partnerships of a nature that depart a little bit from the main thrust of the concept. In terms of the specific issue in contention, what can be done is issue receipts by public hospitals which can be employed by patients and used at private facilities. These receipts should be fungible in the sense that the private players should be reimbursed by administration of public hospitals. Proper measures and checks can be built into this program which preclude and prevent corruption and misuse. Admittedly, the design and implementation of this program entails a paradigm shift but if used as a pilot project and if successful, the model can be replicated across the multiple, overlapping and crisscrossing domains of health care and services thereof in Kashmir. In the final analysis, health care is a critical and vital service for which there will always be immense demand for axiomatic reasons. It has public health and welfare implications and as such should be addressed with means and measures that redound to the overall benefit and welfare of people.