Private companies find gains in offering health management and support systems to terminally ill patients
With doctors not devoting enough time to the wholesome care of patients, the health industry is becoming lucrative for support systems such as the Kartavya Healtheon Pvt Ltd.
A service that would by and large be handled by voluntary and charitable organisations, preventive healthcare is attracting private investment in a big way. Kartavya, started by a group of Information Technology professionals through personal funds in 2008, has already broken even.
Anil Nayak, Director and Co-Founder, calls their operations a relief management company. “We provide counselling and awareness to terminally ill patients, their care takers and families,” he says. Once diagnosed to be at the advanced stage of a disease, the doctor may refer the patient to Kartavya for further assistance.
“We mostly get patients on advanced stages of cancer. With so many patients to attend to, the doctors do not have enough time to go into the details of a patient's daily care routine. That is where we come in,” he says. In the post-prescription care that Kartavya offers, they guide patients on the what, why and how to deal with their illnesses beginning from their dietary routine to health exercises, dos and don'ts. They provide health literature in various languages that helps break several myths of illnesses especially cancer which people think is an end-of-the-road disease.
“Not necessarily so. If dealt with in an informed manner, cancer too can be handled to lead a long life. But one should never stop taking medications. We help patients to understand that,” he explains. Cancer being an expensive treatment, Kartavya helps patients with discount coupons of laboratories and keeps a check on the blood tests and regular check-ups. They also suggest non governmental organisations and other avenues where a patient can take recourse.
Currently present in 21 cities, Kartavya also has dial-in counsellors that provide assistance on the phone. It has 1700 doctors who might refer a patient to take its services. In the future, Kartavya is planning to associate with insurance companies as well.
But it all comes at a price and depending on the number of services a patient opts for, can cost anywhere between Rs 5,000 to Rs 50,000, he says, adding that preventive healthcare is the next big thing in the country.