The factors that made Calcutta miss out on quality healthcare came to the fore at a doctors’ meet organised in the city over the weekend. More than 260 physicians from India and abroad sat for the brainstorming, identifying the loopholes in treatment procedures followed in the city and devising ways to plug them.
The two-day multi-disciplinary congress, hosted jointly by Apollo Gleneagles Hospital and Indian Medical Association (Northwest branch), saw the medical fraternity discuss the four vital areas in medical science — cardiology, neurosurgery, gynaecology and gastroenterology, among others.
For city doctors, the congress was just the right platform to share their views with experts in various fields and update themselves on the latest knowhow. There were tips on the correct approach to treatment of diseases, ranging from chronic viral hepatitis to gastro-intestinal bleeding.
The minimally-invasive approach to treat pancreatic and biliary disorders, which is often not the case with city doctors, was also touched upon. The participants debated on whether all gall-bladder stone cases should be operated upon. “At the end of the day, doctors agreed that the majority of gall stone cases did not require surgery at all,” Mahesh Goenka, gastroenterologist and organising secretary of the meet, said.
This apart, a consensus was reached on the treatment of pancreatitis, brain tumours and biliary disorders. “The delegates came up with a host of suggestions and decided to frame a common guideline for treatment,” Goenka added.
Doctors exchanged thoughts on some complicated treatment procedures and the latest technology that can be put to use. For instance, the gamma knife radiosurgery, in which a beam of radiation is focussed on a small intracranial target through the intact skull. Explaining the procedure, Delhi-based neurosurgeon V.P. Singh said how the gamma knife is extremely suitable for small lesions (less than three cm in size) and deep-seated lesions as well.
Neurosurgeon Ajay Agarwal elucidated how cerebral trauma or head injuries ranked high on the list of neurological diseases among Calcuttans. “Although several forms of intervention have been proposed to enhance the brain repair process, nothing can be done to replace the damaged cells. A quick effort to prevent secondary infections is the best way to treat a patient,” he stressed.
Issues like alternative options for hysterectomy in women and solutions to check widely-prevalent diseases like Hepatitis B were among the varied topics dealt with in the congress. The interaction highlighted the fact that though a section of city-based doctors occasionally attend medical education programmes, they fail to update their skills, which has also contributed to Calcutta lagging behind in providing quality treatment. “In fact, the session was a great opportunity for Calcutta doctors to learn and revise their knowledge, which is otherwise not possible due to their hectic schedules,” Goenka said.
Apart from neighbouring states like Assam and Tripura, a UK delegation, too, aired its views on modern methods in medical science.