It is a healthy trend that an increasing number of Indians seem to be shifting towards or at least considering healthier lifestyles. The growing number of gyms, speciality exercise studios, fitness centres and wellness facilities underscore this development. But, on the flip side, though health is on their mind, most individuals think or rather contact a doctor only for ‘episodic sick care’.
With a view to address this dichotomy prevalent across the world, an innovative concept of concierge medicine has been gaining momentum, particularly in the western societies. This contemporary genre of medicine inherently advocates prevention of diseases. In the west, concierge medication has delivered positive outcomes and this is largely because the model is not about ‘sick care’, but is a personalised engagement model focused on prevention.
A concierge care doctor is greatly focused on preventative care to help individuals and families live healthy, encouraging them to reverse chronic conditions and keep them disease-free. The model also ensures that every member gets ample time with the family physician, the doctor that they know and trust.
The family doctor has always been the protagonist for medical issues. Closely connected with a family, the doctor knew every member’s medical history, their occupations and possibly even a good bit about their daily habits.
Over the years, the social milieu has witnessed considerable change and many individuals began to seek employment and start businesses away from their hometowns. A transient population made the traditional model of a family doctor, a trend of the past. This development has led to the absence of a ‘health custodian’ for an individual and families.
Apollo Hospitals has designed a model geared for the new-age society. Empowered by modern technology, it brings back the best of the past and tops it up with innovative value-added services. It offers personalised care and a special perquisite would be the ability to contact the family physician at any time and also to schedule same day or priority appointment for consultations.
The family physicians of the Apollo programme are trained in the UK and they represent widespread experience in the domain. Family medicine integrates care for all genders and every age, and advocates for the individual in a complex health care system.
In a country like India faced with a huge paucity of medical professionals, a model such as concierge medicine would act as a ‘gatekeeper’ and ‘navigator’ to specialist services, to ensure effective resource utilisation and coordination.
In addition, from a societal perspective, a transition to a concierge model of care would work to coordinate services around the needs and shared decisions of patients and carers and deliver health-promotion and disease-prevention strategies to identified populations, thereby contain the burgeoning disease burden in the country.
Concierge medicine is like the Tesla of medicine, it is radically simple and supremely efficient and that is its inherent beauty.