Dr. K. Anil Kuruvilla, Associate Director, Professor & HOD, Child Health & Neonatology Dept, Christian MedicalCollege, Vellore, talks to ETHealthworld on how CMC has developed over the years and the challenges that they face.
1. What makes CMC unique from other healthcare institutions across the country?
Our primary focus has always been and will always remain to serve the poor and the marginalised population of India. We do this by offering services that are affordable for the poor. We also cater to rich patients and help subsidize treatment for the poor by taking care of the rich but our focus will always be for the poor patients.
We try to help anybody who comes to our institution with the best possible care and at a reasonable cost. We also emphasize that the treatment that we offer should uphold high ethical values to all our students and trainees who come to the institution.
2. What are the problems or challenges that you see as a healthcare provider?
One of the biggest problems that we face is that there is so much demand on our services especially for patients who come from across the country and stay in Vellore for long period of time to receive the quality of care.
The current hospital has far exceeded the demands of the patients who come to us. Another challenge is to keep education available to all the students who would like to have proper education in various facets of healthcare at a cost that is affordable to themselves andtheir families. We believe it is very crucial for training people in healthcare to uphold the values and norms of our institution and to have ethical practise.
I think one of the biggest challenges for our country today is the rising cost of healthcare which impoverishes the individuals and their families. This is because more and more of our healthcare is driven by private enterprise and the costs are very high.
We need to impact healthcare round the country by translating a model of affordable healthcare and keeping costs low for patients.
3. How has CMC’s paediatrics department developed over the years?
The child healthcare department that we have in CMC is more than 5-6 decades old. Over the decades it has grown to leaps and bounds. We treat children not only from Vellore but also patients from across the country with various medical and surgical problems.
The pediatric department that we have has several specialities such as infectious disease, endocrinology, oncology, nephrology, pediatric emergencies and many such specialities which are unique in a large tertiary care teaching hospital.
4. Tell us about Vellore’s contributions in developing better techniques and technologies in healthcare sector.
Some of the work done in Vellore for children are ideal models and have translated across the country, example the polio programme and the fundamental research in paediatrics including diagnosis of respiratory infections was all done in the child health department of CMC.
More recent development is the cooling blanket for newborns that are born with asphyxia, which has now gone into the public domain and is available in centres around the country to use as a low cost model for treating such babies.
Date: 12th May, 2016.