Posts Tagged ‘banking and cardiac care’

Heart disease was  once considered as   rich man’s disease  . . .  It’s no longer  true .  We in India ,  are witnessing an epidemic of CAD . The reasons are  varied  . Apart from  conventional factors ,   social   factors  like changing demographic pattern  ,  life style , ethnic  risk  like  south  Asian metabolic profile are responsible .

While  Rheumatic heart disease (RHD ) continues to be a huge burden , CAD  is  the number one  cause for cardiovascular morbidity and mortality .

CAD affect the poor and rich with equal vengeance . The later is better equipped financially to tackle it . Of course ,  it has resulted in maximum inappropriate interventions. The poor (or borderline poor ) have  no  other  option  but  to knock the doors of Government  hospitals. It is heartening to note, various state  Governments   are  gradually involving insurance schemes.

Still , many struggle to find the required  finance for  a major cardiac intervention. It roughly costs 100,000 rupees  for PTCA  .While  PCI is required in all symptomatic ,  critical coronary occlusions , still . . .  majority of the  CAD in general population  do not require it . There are 675 cath labs in India performing 180000 angioplasties every year  on an average of   15000  PCI per month ( 500 /day )  This is grossly inadequate . We  have huge potential

What is the hurdle ?

  • Expertise ?
  • Hard ware ?
  • Awareness ?

No  . . . it is all about  financial resources

Recently I stumbled upon an  advertisement on Times of India

cardiology ad ptca

Disclaimer: This article does not in any way defame any hospital that offers the scheme.It just want to debate the concept.

Hospitals  want  to  market the procedure . Convert angiograms  to angioplasties . That’s   corporate boardroom mantra  . And one fine day ,  bankers and medical doctor sat together and brought a brilliant idea.

Why not do the procedure  on credit and  push the patient  life long  into a financial debt !

Wonderful idea  . . . many thought .Thus came the financing scheme for  cardiac procedures.

Final message

Financing a poor patient  with good intention is welcome. But, there is big caveat .In a vast country   with high  illiteracy , inappropriate  procedures   may be thrusted upon  on   the  poor  souls.

After thought

Now ,  our patients   have  one more  risk parameter to  assess   ” Number of remaining EMI( Equal monthly instalment )  and incidence of stent thrombosis”   “Accumulated  interest  and angina”   What a wonderful way to provide cardiac care !

I can recall a  patient who sold his livestock  (his sole income source ) for undergoing a open heart surgery and lost his life as well in the process  leaving the family stranded !


The only solution is  to  provide  a strictly regulated Govt sponsored  insurance scheme.  High tech procedures should be  continuously and meticulously  audited for cost effectiveness .


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