Thiruvananthapuram: The Kerala government is looking at replicating the rural primary health care centres in urban areas through a collaboration with private players. The idea mooted by Health Department at the recently concluded ‘Emerging Kerala’ meet received good response from private players, including foreign, who are already present in the sector in other states.
“Such a model already exists in Bangalore, Hyderabad and Delhi. It is the modern version of the ‘family doctor’ that was the practice followed in Kerala for long. Instead of going to a hospital, a patient can go to such centres and if any specialist is required for the ailment then the patient is referred by the centre to the specialist doctor,” Rajeev Sadanandan, principal secretary, Health & Family Welfare Department told Express.
Most of the time, specialists deal with patients with common medical problems that can be easily addressed by a general practitioner. “Since there are no recognized general practitioner services available, patients consult specialist doctors or depend on multi-specialty hospitals. This is the reason to revive the concept of family medicine which could be a help to the common man,” he said. The centre, apart from treating acute and immediate problems, can also offer preventative services and care of chronic disease and could manage referral to hospital for those patients who require it.
The Kerala government is looking at replicating the rural primary health care centres in urban areas.
“Such a model is successfully running in Bangalore. The centres that practise the extended version of family medicine concept also help build a better patient-doctor association that is based on trust. Some of the centres also offer paediatric service along with general medicine as anyone in the family, including the child, can be treated at the clinic. A patient can also avail of the facility of online booking as well as electronic booking system over phone,” said Dr Rajesh A, who is a general physician working in one such centre in Bangalore.
Sadanandan said that the concept mooted during the health care session at the recently concluded ‘Emerging Kerala’ meet got a good response. “A private player has come up with the expression of interest. Currently, they are looking for partners to associate with in Kerala to start their operation,” he said.