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The Need for Change in the Indian Healthcare System With Respect to Infection Control

Does the Indian healthcare system provide a comprehensive range of health services? Is the healthcare system entirely independent? Does the system operate under different management, rules and political authority? If yes is your answer to these queries, then one has to wonder how far the healthcare system is useful to India’s citizens? Can a middle-class family, let alone an impoverished family, afford good healthcare, in India? The answer to that question is still open.

Today we live in the amidst of a host of infections: both known and unknown. How are healthcare organizations and institutions recognizing this fact and acting on this recognition? Are patients treated in a hospital free of infections, and has the treatment been effective? If the answers are yes, do we have evidence to this effect, which is research-based, detailing strategies or protocols? For instance, many bacterial contagions were effortlessly treated with antibiotics previously; unlike the present where such contagions have been difficult to control, on account of the antibiotic resistance built up by the bacteria. Some examples are those of the Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (MRSA) bacteria (common in hospitals) and the tuberculosis-causing bacteria, Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Under the circumstances, it is not surprising that, more than any disease, antibiotic resistance is rapidly growing as one of the most dangerous threats to individual wellbeing currently, as per the World Health Organization (WHO). Being healthcare paramedics, it is important that we understand the implications of this threat, after every medical or nursing intervention: an understanding that will enable us to ensure effective and quality healthcare delivery.

Let us take a look at how the United Kingdom’s NHS (National Health Service) functions. In the UK, the NHS is primarily sponsored by the government. It delivers a wide array of public well-being services, a majority of which are free at the point of use, for legal resident of the UK. Thus, the healthcare in the UK is structured independently and also operates under different management, rules, and political authority. Complementing this service, the NMC (Nursing and Midwifery Council) keeps updating treatment regimens and protocols, by analysing latest research outcomes on new medical or nursing interventions; which further strengthens the delivery of high-quality care through the NHS.

For example, a nurse witnessing a patient’s fall in a hospital set-up follows the ABCDE approach for client care assessment and uses the SBAR approach to inform senior health personnel, about that patient’s health condition, using relevant processes for the reporting. Such an approach is not widely practised in the Indian Scenario. Applying such an approach in the Indian healthcare system will help healthcare providers prioritise their work, report relevant and adequate information, and provide effective patient care.