Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Sustainable health care - Social Innovations Conversations

Can we have a sustainable health care system? Can we serve the broader population at low cost, offering public health across the board and still operate without a huge deficit? Social Innovations Conversations speaks with Thulasiraj Ravilla who is part of a successful chain of hospitals in India that started with supplying basic medical services to prevent or treat blindness among the poor and grew into a wide system of general hospitals serving the rich and the poor together.

Ravilla relates the tale of learning on the job, applying to circumstances and eventually, by large scale and meticulous resource management how the chain could turn to such a booming success. So much so, the world comes by to learn and among those visitors, interested parties from richer countries no less. It appears the whole world can learn from this example of efficiency.

There is a point of worry Ravilla expresses, that in my humble opinion, is not only going to prove to be a major problem the scene in India as it develops, but elsewhere may be exactly the reason why the model can't easily be copied. He worries, whether he will be able to continue to employ the staff he has, especially the low skill, low pay staff. That seems to me to be the critical issue. The efficiency in India is that no task is done by anybody overqualified, but delegated down the chain as much as possible. India has the low skill, low wages employment market, exactly because of its poverty. But as soon as development starts to kick in, that is where workers become scarce. That is where health care will turn expensive, too expensive to be sociable and sustainable at the same time, I fear. Or at least so, this conversation gives no answer to that thought.

More Social Innovation Conversations:
Waste Management,
Social Innovation Conversations - podcast review.

AddThis Social Bookmark Button