Dr. Yash Gulati shares views on how the Indian healthcare system has evolved

M3 India Newsdesk Aug 08, 2018

Medicine and healthcare in India have grown tremendously in the last couple of decades. In this interview, one of the most eminent doctors in the country, Dr. Yash Gulati, a Padma Shri awardee, shares his experience on being a catalyst to that growth and what he would like to see as the future of healthcare in India. 

Dr. Yash Gulati is a Senior Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon and Honorary Surgeon to the President of India (2016). He has also served as an Honorary Surgeon to the Indian Armed Forces and theBorder Security Force. Dr. Gulati is also the recipient of several national awards such as the B.C. Roy National Award and the prestigious Padma Shri Award.

In this interview, he shares with us his journey in medicine so far, views on how Indian healthcare system has transformed over the years and proposes changes that need to be made for Indian healthcare to excel globally.

Q. How has medicine evolved in the last 30 years of your practice?

Dr. Gulati: It is strange how things have changed since we started our practice more than 30 years ago. When I was in medical school and was doing post-graduation in India, we realised that what we are reading in the books was not being practiced in the country and what we were practicing was already out of the books.

Then we went out of the country to learn the art of orthopaedics and were taught what modern orthopaedics was, including joint replacement and modern spine surgery, and trauma care. Fortunately, now technology has come to India and our country has kept up with too. So, I am happy to say whatever is being done anywhere in the world, is being done in our country now!

Q: India is emerging as a popular medical tourism destination, what are your thoughts?

Dr. Gulati: As a matter of fact, because of our cheap labour and limited doctor’s fees, we can do many more things, which are not possible in developed countries. In my own practice doing knee replacement with gyroscope-based computer navigation is possible at a very low cost. This procedure would cost a lot more in developed countries.

This has changed our lives and today as we are technologically as enabled as our western counterparts, but our prices are less, because of which we are getting many patients from other countries including their heads of states. In that way, we have seen a sea of changes in our practice with an improvement of our standing in the world, especially in orthopaedics.

Q: Indian doctors are at par with developed countries in the healthcare sector, what, according to you has contributed to this?

Dr. Gulati: Hard work and perseverance! We often hear our politicians say how they went through an impoverished childhood and how they thrived and studied under street lights. Incidentally, this is how the present generation of the most eminent doctors in India have come up as well! We all belong to the generation which came from middle or lower-middle-class families and lived in small houses with no regular electricity. We all have studied under street lights and kerosene lamps during our childhood and college days.

Our country is a great example of sheer determination by all generations and that is the reason we have excelled in all areas, including medicine. Having done that, now we should aim to go forward and exceed developed countries in healthcare.

Q: Any changes you propose to propel India’s healthcare system further ahead?

Dr. Gulati: We must change our attitude, but, what we also need to do is control corruption in all fields including medicine. India needs to focus on research because that’s where western countries score more than us. When they do research and produce something new that becomes much more expensive and they take the position of leadership. We need to do the same, and that will be possible only when there is a conducive atmosphere. That is my wish for medicine and healthcare in India!

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