Diagnostic Health Camps for Rural India

It is necessary to keep in good health which the lower strata of society finds difficult owing to their financial problems. Therefore, free diagnostic health camps are being organised frequently in India to conduct general medical check-ups and for heart, paediatric, ophthalmic, skin, ENT, disease and women health examination. There are many government and voluntary organisations that come to the rescue of community members by putting therapeutic camps, health check-ups for diabetes, heart diseases and hypertension.

Immunization Against Diseases

They also arrange for preventive vaccination for immunization against Typhoid fever, Polio and Hepatitis B. They want to increase their outreach in areas which have very less of health infrastructure. The focus is more on taking a follow-up on cases at regular intervals of time. These healthcare programmes help in understanding the basic health related problems along with free distribution of medicines.

Objectives to Fulfil

The main objectives behind rolling out such projects is better reproductive health and child care, awareness about communicable diseases, promote good nutrition in women and children. The non-profit organisations also want to improve personal hygiene and sanitation, promote safe water drinking, capacity building against maternal and infant mortality and build awareness on HIV/AIDS and TB among the young, children, poor and elderly. The intervention is of more help if implemented in rural areas where the level of knowledge and participation is comparatively lower than the urban cities.

Free Check-Up and Aid

Other people can also lend a helping hand in organizing diagnostic health camps in rural areas and contribute to the welfare of society. Camps of such nature are generally put up in urban and rural slums so that the needy can easily avail the health services extended to them. Organisations depute consultants from different disciplines inside these camps along with volunteers who facilitate their smooth functioning. Here, it is seen that the minor concerns are addressed at the local level itself but referrals are made for treatment of the major problems.

Inside a Diagnostic Health Camps

For better understanding, an example of a rural health camp conducted at WAVE City in Delhi NCR with support from the Indo-German Hospital. About 600 families where reached out this way and the camp treated people suffering from skin, anaemia, respiratory and gynaecological problems. Here, villagers turned up in large numbers to receive free medical consultation and aids. You can see several other customized health camps put up in the surrounding areas to offer facilities of similar nature. They provide preventive, curative, referral, promotive and comprehensive health services to numerous people living in the selected intervention areas. The duration of these check-up facilities ranges from 1-15 days a month with frequencies between a month to an entire year.

The Virtue and Value of Patient Empowerment and Health Literacy Amidst Healthcare Reform

Patient empowerment and health literacy are important and valuable attributes for both patients and healthcare providers in today’s changing healthcare system which emphasizes improved healthcare quality, improved population health and reduced healthcare costs.

Patient empowerment is a key component of healthcare reform in that it is the development of the ability to understand and participate in one’s healthcare and health management so as to bring about improvements in both while at the same time reducing healthcare costs.

Because the current fee-for-service healthcare provider reimbursement system is currently in the process of transitioning from a volume-based system to a value-based one in which the value-based parameters are quality of care and costs, patient empowerment and health literacy are valuable to both patients and healthcare providers.

Health literacy, which is the ability of patients to understand health-related information and use that information to make informed decisions, has been well-recognized by many in the healthcare community as a valuable cofactor for the delivery of quality health care. The patient-related reason is that health literacy begets greater patient adherence to treatment instructions and better treatment outcomes. The provider-related reason is that the ability to make correct diagnoses and provide effective treatment are in large part determined by the quality of the information provided by patients, in spite of all of the diagnostic technology at our disposal.

The latter fact is supported by a study performed in the early 1990s in which internal medicine physicians performed evaluations outside of the hospital on patients with undiagnosed medical problems then compared the rate of diagnostic accuracy of the three diagnostic modalities that physicians use, i.e., the patient history, physical examination and diagnostic testing. The study showed that of the three categories of information relied on the history alone resulted in the correct diagnosis being made 76% of the time compared to accuracy rates of 12% and 11% when doctors relied on only the physical examination and diagnostic tests respectively.

Another study published in an August 2011 edition of the Journal of the American Medical Association which compared the relative importance of the patient history, physical examination, and diagnostic tests showed conclusively that hospitalized patients in the study were accurately diagnosed most often when doctors relied on the history alone or the history in conjunction with the physical examination findings and/or test results. Conversely, the study showed that when physicians relied on the physical exam or test results solely or in combination accurate diagnoses were made in only a small percentage of the patients.

The quality of healthcare received by patients is oftentimes determined to a great degree by the quality of the information they provide. Proficient health literacy usually results in more accurate and relevant information which translates into more accurate diagnoses as well as timelier and more appropriate treatment.

Additionally, proficient health literacy resulting from patient empowerment reduces healthcare costs by decreasing overreliance on medical technology, unnecessary duplicate testing and costly errors resulting from actions based on incorrect or insufficient information.

As healthcare reform and healthcare payment reform continue to evolve, the value and importance of patient empowerment are likely to increase. Therefore, patients and patients’ caregivers should take the necessary steps to acquire a degree of health literacy to assume the increased patient responsibility accompanying the forces of reform.

This article is for informational purposes only and is not intended to be legal advice or a substitute for medical consultation with a qualified professional. If you are seeking legal advice or are unsure about your medical condition you should consult an attorney and/or physician.