SELF SUFFICIENCY IN HEALTH-CARE BY SELF PARTICIPATION
Health care today is at crossroads. It is proving beyond the reach of common man especially low and middle income group. It is estimated that around 10% to 12% of family income needs to be spent on taking care of emergency health care needs and age old problems. The emergency and specialty care is well beyond the reach of an average citizen. The awareness to create financial capability is shockingly lacking.
Shushrusha Citizens’ Co-operative Hospital is a unique experiment who offers total health care, including super-specialty care at affordable cost based on the principle of health care as a right without exploitation with self participation and health care which is ACCESSIBLE, AVAILABLE ON DEMAND, AFFORDABLE AND ACCOUNTABLE.
A path breaking venture in this regard was started to put up and run a hospital on co-operative basis managed by members who joined to form a Society, establish the hospital and run it for the people. Shushrusha Citizens’ Co-operative Hospital was thus set up about 40 years ago in Mumbai by late Dr. V. S. Ranadive. There are doctors’ co-operatives elsewhere. However Shushrusha is not a doctor’s co-operative. It is a hospital built through the organised efforts of citizens and equipped by them through their own funds, managed professionally on competent basis. This is the essence of co-operative movement in its true sense in providing medical care.
Initially this co-operative clinical care hospital had 80 beds and assets worth Rs. 28.71 lakhs. The membership was less than 1500. In the last 40 years the movement has grown in strength by the dedicated work of specialists, the management of the co-operative Society, the staff and workers. As of today the hospital can pride itself in having a six storey building with the bed capacity of 130 beds and an ICU with a capacity of 17 beds. The fixed assets are approximately Rs. 50 Crores and have thus grown substantially. The hospital invests Rs. 2.5 millions annually to equip itself with modern state-of-the-art technology.
It possesses latest diagnostic facilities such as imaging equipments e.g. Ultrasound with Doppler. In addition to this, we have Ventilators for critical care, Operating Microscopes, fully equipped Dialysis Unit, Blood Gas Analysers, Cardiac Monitoring equipments, EEG/EMG etc.
With the above mentioned facilities and the equipment, the hospital performs, besides the routine surgeries, specialized operations for spinal injuries and brain tumours, lungs, intestine, breast etc. In super speciality we carry out surgical treatment for Cancer, Trauma, Reconstructive surgeries. We also carry out surgery for sport injuries, joint replacement surgeries, micro-surgeries of limb reimplants. All these surgeries are at affordable cost for middle and lower income families. The hospital is shortly expanding its facilities. We will have Coronary Angiography, Interventional Cardiology and Cardiac surgery shortly.
The hospital also provides the community service by conducting free camps in the filed of Ophthalmology, Cardiology, Skin, Paediatric, Cancer Detection etc. and specialised camp for the deaf, mute and the mentally challenged.
The hospital caters to the health and medical care of all citizens. However, since it is established and run by the members through elected representatives, it offers concession to members upto 50% in all the services, free medical check-up for senior citizens, subsidy is also available to spouse and children upto two and members enjoy fixed rates for operations of all specialities.
Encouraged by this successful experiment at Dadar, Mumbai, the Management has decided to extend this experiment to one of the busy suburbs of Mumbai – Vikhroli. We are trying to replicate this on the same basis.
The hospital has also thought of making its presence felt in the field of medical tourism. Shushrusha Citizens’ Co-operative Hospital is registered with all existing TPAs and Insurance Companies. It is in the process of obtaining its own ISO Certification with the annual recurring cost and per patient cost mentioned in the foregoing in respect of some serious illnesses which are representative requiring good professional care, we feel that we can enter into the field of medical tourism. The hospital proposes to attract persons from abroad who would find it much less expensive to have the medical care at Shushrusha hospital, in India combined with tourism. This comprehensive medical care with diagnosis, treatment and post treatment recovery would also be combined with organized tours to interesting places in India which could be selectively chosen so as to cater to the needs of various patients who while leaving this country would travel as fully cured healthy tourists. This is a new horizon and the hospital proposes to march into this foray. Shushrusha is also willing to extend in-patient and domiciliary cover and treatment to elderly parents of Indians abroad.
DR. N. S. LAUD