TMJ Global

Time for Kerala to develop holistic medicine clinics

30 Oct 2023   |   3 min Read
K P Sethunath

Kerala should strive for creating a holistic healthcare ecosystem for leveraging its unique strengths in ayurveda and allopathy medical systems to emerge as a hub of medical value tourism in South Asia. Speakers at the two-day Kerala Health Tourism and Global Ayurveda Summit organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry (Kerala Chapter) stressed the need for developing an integrated approach in harnessing the best practices of modern and traditional medicine systems, treatment protocols and tourism to create a win-win situation for the state.

Setting the tone for a new pathway to develop an integrated approach, Venu Rajamony, former ambassador, said the state should emulate the Chinese model as a good example. China has integrated its traditional medicine system with modern medicine in such a way that for any ailment they prescribe a traditional medicine along with the modern medicine. “Kerala should develop at least one holistic medicine clinic to establish its capabilities in different streams of medical systems and treatment protocols”, he added.

Rajamony also spoke about the holistic treatment centre named Soukhya in Bengaluru as an example and recalled the pioneering role played by the late Dr Marthanda Varma, a renowned neurosurgeon and founder director of NIMHANS in the establishment of such a facility.

Venu Rajamony | PHOTO: PTI
The efficiency of ayurveda in providing postnatal care and elderly care could be leveraged very well with the modern medicine systems, speakers said. Ayurveda could also play an important role in rehabilitative medicines and therapies, they added.

The lack of air connectivity is a major hindrance faced by the healthcare system in Kerala. The state remains largely unknown in Bangladesh, accounting for the largest share of medical value tourists to India, speakers pointed. The state and the central government should work out a plan for operating direct flight services from Dhaka to Kerala to attract a section of people seeking medical help in India, they said. The treatment cost in Kerala is highly competitive compared with other places in the country such as Delhi, Mumbai and Chennai, they added.

Sustainable innovations in treatment and healthcare delivery systems are another area that deserves closer attention of the medical professionals and other stakeholders in the healthcare system. Dr. Sabarigirsh K, Chief Operating Officer of the Thiruvananthapuram-based Ananthapuri Hospital and Research Institute stressed the importance of innovations benefiting the three main stakeholders in the healthcare value chain- patients, doctors and hospitals. Many of the structural deficiencies such as time management, hospital visits and registrations are getting eliminated with the advancements in communication technologies. Major changes are also on the horizon in diagnosis and treatment protocols with developments in genomics and growth in data analytics.

Confederation of Indian Industry Kerala Health Tourism and Global Ayurveda Summit | PHOTO: WIKI COMMONS 
The progress in generating electronic medical records (EMR), advancements in early detection technologies, replacing plastic with eco-friendly products in medical devices and equipment are some of the major developments that could bring a paradigm shift in the healthcare system. Speakers also highlighted the shift to homecare system from hospital care system that would help in cutting down the cost while improving the efficiency of the healthcare delivery. According to the data nearly 55 million people in India are pushed to poverty every year due to the healthcare expenditure and out of this around 38 million ended up in below the poverty line category.

The practitioners of traditional and modern medicine systems in the state needed to be conscious of these transformations taking place in the sector and develop systems and practices that would bring maximum benefit and wellness to the people requiring the services of the healthcare sector.

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