New Delhi: India’s healthcare system lacks patient satisfaction as a measure of the effectiveness of hospitals. The quality of treatment varies widely from one hospital to another, from one physician to another.
Dr K. Ellangovan, in his new book Creating Value in Health Care, “reveals the internal performance dimensions that are crucial to improve clinical outcomes”.
He argues that the three prongs that will help introduce value in the country’s healthcare system are patient satisfaction, affordability and appropriate treatment.
“Patients are not routinely engaged in decision-making and often communication with relatives is established on the eve of a catastrophic event, either convincing them to plead their helplessness,” Dr Ellangovan believes, underlining its significance in his book.
The book, published by Notion Press, will be released on 7 October on ‘SoftCover’, ThePrint’s e-venue to launch select non-fiction books.
‘Insightful analysis of India’s mixed health system’
The book has received positive reviews from several experts in India’s health industry.
R. Poornalingam, former health secretary of the Tamil Nadu government, called it “a distilled wisdom on the healthcare system in India by an experienced administrator”.
Recommending it to all those interested in India’s healthcare system, he added: “It addresses important questions on quality and effectiveness of public healthcare delivery using sophisticated management tools and gives many useful policy prescriptions to create value for the patient and the government.”
Professor K. Srinath Reddy, president of the Public Health Foundation of India & formerly head of cardiology at AIIMS, New Delhi, said that “Dr. K. Ellangovan’s book blends his rich expertise and experience as a medical doctor, civil servant and a healthcare management researcher into an insightful analysis of India’s mixed health system and guides the reader on the nature of improvements needed.”
Like Poornalingam, Reddy too recommended the book to those working in India’s healthcare system who wish to “reorient the purpose of India’s under-delivering health systems and reinvigorate their performance.”
Having served in the Indian Administrative Services, Dr Ellangovan is a career bureaucrat who holds a Masters in Surgery in Orthopedics and Population Studies. He has served several roles in India’s healthcare system, from holding the position of the Mission Director of National Health Mission, Kerala, to Secretary to Government in the Department of Health & Family Welfare, Kerala.
He also did a PhD from IIT Madras in Performance Dimensions in Public Hospitals.
During his tenure in Kerala as health secretary, he brought about several significant changes to the state’s healthcare system. Most notably these include “developing standard care pathways to treat non-communicable diseases in the primary care setting” which were critical to several public hospitals accredited under the NABH programme. He also made healthcare more affordable by introducing “mandatory prescription of generic drugs and enlarged the list of essential medicines to be dispensed free of cost in public hospitals” in the state.