Archive for the ‘Low Cost Healthcare’ Category

Private hospital gives high-tech care to India’s poorest

April 2, 2011

There’s something unusually calming about the operating rooms at Dr. Devi Shetty’s 1,000-bed cardiac hospital here in India’s high-tech hub. Natural light floods the theatres.

When Shetty designed his hospital, he wanted to ensure surgeons could connect with the world outside.

“In most western hospitals, operating rooms are in the middle of the floor and they only have fluorescent lighting,” Shetty says during a tour of his flagship hospital, one of 10 that his family owns and operates in India. “Surgeons are creative people. It’s ridiculous to think they can perform well all day under fluorescents. Try it. Do something creative in a room with only artificial lights and see how you do after two hours.”

Unorthodox operating rooms aren’t the only way Shetty is transforming health care in India, a nation with 1.2 billion potential patients.

At his Narayana Hrudayalaya cardiac hospital, which is just metres away from his family-owned-and-operated cancer, eye and multi-specialty hospitals, 42 surgeons performed 6,272 cardiac surgeries last year, three times the number at Toronto General’s cardiac unit.

Roughly 60 per cent of those operations were performed on patients who couldn’t afford the full cost of proper treatment and medicines.

Some enrolled in a $3-a-year insurance plan for farmers Shetty started alongside the Karnataka state government. Others had the procedure free. Read more…


Allergies Linked to Lower Brain Cancer Rate

February 9, 2011

If you suffer from allergies, take heart: Researchers say you may be less likely to develop a tough-to-treat brain cancer, possibly because your immune system is on high alert.
Researchers have published conflicting studies about whether people with allergies and autoimmune disorders (which cause the immune system to attack the body) have a lower risk of developing the tumors.
The researchers found that patients with both high- and low-grade tumors were more likely to report no allergies than the other patients. And the more allergies someone had, the lower their odds of having gliomas. Read more…

Moderate physical exercises reduce cancer risk

February 4, 2011

Moderate physical exercises can help reduce the risk of cancers such as breast cancer and colon cancer, the World Health Organization said on the World Cancer Day Friday.

In a report, WHO recommended moderate intensity aerobic physical activities of at least 150 minutes a week, for all people aged 18 and over, which has proven effective in bring down risks to noncommunicable diseases (NCDs).

For the 5 to 17-age group, the WHO said at least 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous intensity physical activities can serve to prevent such diseases from building-up.

“Physical activity has a strong role to play in reducing the incidence of certain cancers,” said Ala Alwan, WHO assistant director-general for Noncommunicable Diseases and Mental Health. Read more…

Drive for early cancer detection, free chemotherapy

January 18, 2011

India is going all out against cancer — the non-communicable disease (NCD) that affects 10 lakh new Indians every year and kills four lakh.
The Union health ministry is launching a national programme, which will not only help diagnose cancer cases early among the general population but also provide chemotherapy free of cost. At present, the two biggest problems with cancer control are that the majority of the cases are diagnosed in the last stage while those who are diagnosed can’t afford the high costs of treatment in form of chemotherapy and radiotherapy. Read more…

Cancer Treatments Getting Cheaper

December 31, 2010

Cancer treatments that normally come with a huge bill could soon include a new type of treatment that could possibly be as effective as it is inexpensive. Researchers have been trying to make a material using nanoparticles that could be so sensitive that doctors would be able to use our breath to detect indicators cancer, diabetes, and other important illnesses in real time.
Breath-analyzers detect changes in the conductance of gases like our breath as it passes over sensors. The things that cause changes in the sensors would be “biomarkers”, or substances that are typically warning signs of the illnesses named above plus other conditions as well. Scientists from the National Institute of Standards and also at Purdue University told CNET that although breath-analyzers have been around, this would be the first time someone has come up with a sensitivity level that could be efficient. It was done by trying to increase the surface area of the sensor, and replacing a flat surface with some material that made an incredibly porous metal-oxide film. According to NIST and Purdue University, the main element allowing this was due to using a coating of metal-oxide nanoparticles that allowed tons of things to be involved. Doing this, researchers now can run better studies because the sensitivity level increases along with the actual active part of the surface. Read more…

Experts mull over making cancer care affordable

October 26, 2010

To give advice on how to make services affordable was member of governing council of Medical Council of India ( MCI) and chairman of Narayana Hrudayalaya, Dr Devi Shetty, who said: “India will have a model healthcare system in five years. We have a population of 1.2 billion people and 28 million babies are born every year. Fifty per cent of our population is less than 25 years old. It’s a huge strength. When I was a medical student, I was told that healthcare in India is going to be very expensive. But look at America now, 50% of the population doesn’t have decent medical care,”. Read more…