CHENNAI: He acknowledges that South India, and Chennai specifically, have some of the best doctors the world has ever seen. But do we have the best trained nurses, physiotherapists and para-medical staff? “I really don’t think so,” says Dr Prithvi Mohandas point blank. Perhaps as a measure to better those odds, the Joint Managing Director-MIOT Hospitals has been instrumental in launching the Indo-British Health initiative (IBHI).
Combined with the efforts of Deputy High Commissioner of UK for South India, Mike Nithavrianakis, this initiative, which was launched in Chennai on Tuesday, is intended to be a Foundation that promotes scientific collaboration between health care personnel in India and the UK.
“When doctors who train in the UK return here, there are three major problems that we see: the lack of a standard level of care across all hospitals, no minimum level of training among para-medical staff and no product innovation based on what the local community needs,” explains Dr Mohandas, who will be the Founder and Secretary of the IBHI. The Deputy High Commissioner agrees with him, “I don’t think we are making enough of the linkages that exist between India and the UK, considering the health care industry here grows by as much as 18 per cent annually.” This agreement led to the two gentlemen pitching the idea for the foundation before the House of Lords on November 2, “They were thrilled,” summed it up.
What will the IBHI essentially do? In a nutshell, they will provide a platform for all types of people in the health care industry to network, through their events. “We’re looking at events, seminars, exhibition of innovative products, research, MoUs between UK and Indian varsities....the possibilities of partnership are endless,” says Nithavrianakis.
Touching on academic partnerships, opens a raw nerve for the alumnus of Madras Medical College who studied in the UK as well. “Some Indian universities have tied up with partners in the US, Germany and even Japan. For some reason, the UK’s health care potential available has been under utilised,” says Dr Mohandas. But there is hope, reasons the DHC. “We have been urging UK universities to look at India as a ‘two-way route’ - more UK students ought to come here, train and learn. No where else will they encounter voluminous health care like in India.”
The Foundations activities will kick off with four seminars annually, two here and the other two in the UK. The only possibility they’re not open to is the involvement of pharma companies as members of the foundation.