Shahid Akhter, the editor, ETHealthworld, spoke to Suresh Ramu, Co- Founder & CEO, Cytecare Cancer Hospitals, Bengaluru, to know more about impact of Covid-19 on cancer care.
Uncertainty, fear, and anxiety have been the biggest challenges that we have faced during these Covid times. Patients and their families, doctors staff alike all of us have faced the same issues.
We’ve seen a significant fall in the first two months of Covid-19 in Cytecare but because we’re super specialty cancer hospital, patients have been able to come to us and continue their treatment. We’ve seen overall, about 85-90% of compliance to continue the treatment to the patients who need ongoing treatment.
Talking about international patients, I think the international travel, until it opens up, will still be an issue for them to come and continue their cancer treatment at Cytecare.
We should leverage technology. I think one of the biggest things that we learned is that technology can be a dramatic enabler in such times and situations.
The agility, the speed to able to implement and adapt, look at new processes, infrastructure, and the design changes that we need to make is also an important learning.
I think healthcare infrastructure needs to be designed in a way that it can be ready to make certain changes, to allow for such future pandemics to be respondents in a better manner.
The overall emphasis on healthcare, the fact that now a large number of people are aware of the need to take care of the health, wellness, and prevention of the disease is the huge gains that as a country we have to see in years to come.
Trust in healthcare and healthcare institutions are like huge opportunities for us to build transparency and being able to serve the patients in times of need and understanding the need for empathy and creating hope from a healthcare institution perspective, I think are the key drivers at this point of time.
Uncertainty will continue to be a challenge and for all the organizations and industries, particularly healthcare is something that we have to deal with in the months to come, till Covid-19 continues to grow but also ahead when we expect pandemics, viral pandemics to appear in the next decade.
The entire approach in terms of managing healthcare for patients, understanding their needs, the focus of the individuals in terms of prevention, wellness, and care will also become very important. Also, Medical insurance for families has greatly been increased because people have become aware and I think this will serve well for the people.
Public investment in healthcare will increase and collaborations between private and public healthcare institutions will become the norm, given that there will be ramifications based on costs and capitals spent that might be constrained due to the impact of Covid.
I think these will become the new normal and these all are good signs for an industry that needs to buckle up and fill the gap that is faced by the Indian population.