VIJAYAWADA: Former NIMS director and an expert radiologist Kakarla Subba Rao is surely a proud pearl of Krishna district. He played a key role in attaining the prestigious status to NIMS and was also involved in the development of health care in Andhra Pradesh during NTR’s reign.
In an exclusive interview with Express, Subbarao expressed his views on changes required in the government health sector. Excerpts from the interview:
Q) Your views on government health sector?
Kakarla: Government must have a health and medical policy which can benefit all sections of people. Efforts should be made to provide purified drinking water, nutritious food and unpolluted air which can prevent several diseases. What is the point of discovering new medicines and treatment techniques when one cannot curb the promotion of cigarette and liquor sales in the country.
Q) What can be done to develop the health sector?
Ans: The Government must encourage public private partnership (PPP) policy in the health sector for better services. All the district hospitals must be strengthened and faculty must undergo training as their profession is assessed on service basis and not on merit. Government investment is needed to establish and improve the quality of diagnosis centres. Two major medical research centres, one in Tirupati and another in Vizag, must be established, which will be a huge asset for the truncated state. Bio-medical engineering must be encouraged in the state.
Q) What according to you is the main challenge for doctors?
Ans: A majority of doctors lack communication skills, which goes unnoticed. One must be able to identify the disease and should also communicate it to the patient in a way which makes him/her feel comfortable, only then he can be called a professional doctor. One must understand this fact and should start developing their communication skills. Learning skills is a never ending process.
Q) What about medical facilities in rural areas?
Ans: Primary health centres (PHCs) must be well equipped and alternative medical systems like naturopathy, homeopathy and Ayurveda must be encouraged. As I said earlier, purified drinking water, nutritious food and unpolluted air are essential to reduce the disease rate in rural areas. Vaccines must reach the children and elderly people in right time.
Q) Your message to aspiring doctors?
Ans: “Aspire to inspire before you expire.” It was a myth created by Indian Medical Association (IMA) that doctors will have no more future. “Every pill has got an ill and every ill has got a pill.” There are plenty of opportunities in India and other countries as well. You need to have the right skills to claim that in the right time.