Organisations representing foreign hospitals must adhere to certain “ethical values”, Prof Kamrul Hassan Khan has said since many Bangladeshi patients are being misled to seek treatment outside the country.The vice-chancellor of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University (BSMMU) was speaking in a panel discussion at the ongoing first-ever international summit on Medical Value Travel in New Delhi on Tuesday.He made the remark in the light of a report released by the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) on Monday showing that Bangladeshis travel to India even for simple pathological tests.Prof Khan said Indian healthcare was “much advanced, but there is no ground for travelling to India only for simple pathological tests.We understand that it’s for the patients to decide where they’ll take treatment. But sometimes, the marketing people give them false impression about our health services to take the patients outside,” he said.He, however, sought partnerships with Indian hospitals to share knowledge and for the transfer of technology.The suggestion was backed by top executives of private hospitals on the panel.“The idea is not to consolidate business, it’s to ensure quality and affordable services,” the vice-chancellor said in the discussion focusing on cooperation among the SAARC nations.
Moderated by the CEO of Mumbai’s Jaslok Hospital, Dr Tarang Gianchandani, the others on the panel were Noorulhaq Yousofzai, Hospital Director of Afghanistan’s Ministry of Public Health, Dr Narendra Vaidya, Chairman of Lokmanya Hospital in Pune, and Dr Harish Pillai, CEO of Aster Medcity, Kerala.They stressed the scope of collaboration among the South Asian countries, given the similarities in population and diseases.The whole of South Asia, which once battled to beat infectious diseases, is now bracing for the new challenge of tackling non-infectious diseases like diabetes, heart ailments, and cancer.Deaths and disabilities due to road accidents are also assuming an alarming proportion in this region.Dr Vaidya agreed with the BSMMU vice-chancellor. “We can move towards knowledge sharing,” he said.“From the Indian side, we can also reach out with our technologies,” he said, as the summit showcased innovative methods that ensured quality treatment at affordable prices.Dr Pillai said “we have to think out of the box”, pointing out that more youths in South Asia died of coronary heart diseases than in the rest of world.“Remove the border, we people are similar, our diseases are similar. So, we have to fight it collectively,” he said.Styled “Advantage Healthcare-India 2015”, the three-day summit that began on Monday is being organised jointly by India’s Ministry of Commerce and the FICCI.The aim is to project India’s healthcare capabilities so that patients come to its hospitals instead of going to Europe, US, Singapore and Thailand for treatment.At least 520 participants from 65 countries, mostly from the Asia, Africa, Middle-East, and the CIS, a grouping of former Soviet republics, are taking part in the meet, where Indian healthcare facilities are being exhibited.