We ‘Care for Life,’ is what Musrefa Hossain, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of GD Hospital and Diabetes Institute has been instilling in everyone associated with GD Hospital. She has demonstrated exemplary leadership to establish “delivering quality healthcare to people from every walk of life” as its core belief. A graduate in Biomedical Engineering from the University of Sheffield and a Postgraduate in Bioscience Enterprise from the University of Cambridge, she has her own vision to serve the country in her own fashion.
In an exclusive interaction with The Policy Times, she shares current challenges of Indian healthcare, their solutions and how the Pataka Industries is serving the society.
Q: What are the basic problems in achieving affordable healthcare?
Ans: The answer is quite evident. This is due to two major reasons –
- Population – Doctor-to-patient ratio is still quite high. We have to work on this.
- Lack of current allocation of budget and healthcare infrastructure
The inefficiency, corruption, and mismanagement of healthcare budget are reasons why Indian healthcare is suffering today. Bureaucracy often becomes the burden and many good people leave the country.
Q: Then how can we overcome this problem?
Ans: The population control is a long-term planning which the governments in India have been trying for very many years and will continue to do so. The other options remain the infrastructure, improving delivery of facilities, allocations are done properly. The right people need to get the right job. The students need to be retained. The mandatory service which these students have to offer are devoid of medical facilities and inability to give them adequate healthcare makes them indifferent. Compulsory medical service is not working not only because of low pay but also even for clinical practices, the basic infrastructure is not available in government hospitals but there are hundreds and hundreds of patients.
So the young doctors are upset in the end as they fail to provide any basic help to the needy.
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Q: How can we make private hospitals affordable and how is GD Hospital contributing?
Ans: India has already been providing foreign-class healthcare services at a third world country cost. Making it affordable will lead to a compromise in quality and that’s the reality. Hospitals need money to build basic infrastructure, equipment, and salaries of your employees. We need money at least in order to run the hospital leave aside the profit. India has a budget allocation of 1.4% for healthcare in comparison to USA’s 17%. Private hospitals are already functioning under a huge crunch. Now there are a lot of misperceptions and people come in a hospital with mistrust, not with faith. Actually, there are very few hospitals who are making profits. Most of them are just surviving. Asking them to be more affordable would force them to pay from their own pockets.
Q: Do you have plans to expand across India?
Ans: Obviously we are going to spread in West Bengal but currently we are not thinking of spreading in India. We may think in long run. We are doing a lot of work in the periphery. in July/August 2018, in Aurangabad, Murshidabad, we are opening our first paramedical training center for the youth giving diploma in various paramedical fields at the most economical costs.
One can build a hospital but cant feel it. Murshidabad is still a place which is so neglected and where the population is rising. We don’t believe in giving the fish, we need to give the fishing rods. We will make each person sustainable.
Q: Under its CSR activities, Pataka Group has been helping the society in education, healthcare, women empowerment. What are your plans for future?
Ans: Right now our big focus is on streamlining the CSR activities not cutting down or curtailing it. We are making a sure right allocation of resources. GDCS has been involved in disaster management, education, basic healthcare and other activities. In Aurangabad, we have a primary healthcare center which has foot-fall of 10,000 patients which is a ten-rupee clinic with free medicines and nutritional supplements. We have tie-ups with peripheral nursing homes, six ambulance services, and paramedical services. We have been focusing on the youth empowerment, upliftment, and employment. Four years ago, we have done one project on women upliftment. We selected twelve 10th pass girls in Aurangabad through an exhaustive test from a pool of 500 where we trained them in nursing and projected them into the mainstream society. The first special school for disabled children is going to open in May 2018. We do a lot of workshops. We have done a workshop on integrating the mainstream students having Dyslexia.
Q: You studied in Cambridge but preferred to come back and join the legacy. What is your vision to contribute to the society and country?
Ans: Well, the country is a big place and I am a small part of it. I should be able to give back to the world which I got from it. I was fortunate enough being a destiny’s child through a father who had the wisdom, the righteousness of mind and clarity of thoughts. My vision is for myself to give back to the society. I just want to make an imprint before I go from the world and not just having a life where you eat, sleep and die. It is our choice what we do.
Q: What is your message for those who have received and will receive the prestigious GD scholarships?
Ans: My father, Mustak Hossain, chairman of the Pataka Group didn’t do it with an intention to give a scholarship, he did because he felt that it is right to do. Every time he gave a scholarship to a student, he didn’t just give money, he gave a part of himself. When we give scholarships, we do not give just money, we give a part of ours. We give our thoughts, our intentions, his principals and our legacy with one thought that one day, that one man or woman will carry that thought and will spread to ten others or hundred others.
Because my father thinks, this person will go back to the society and become one more Mustak Hossain and that is what our city needs, state needs and country needs. Because one Mustak Hossain isn’t enough. He is very humble and not at all deceived of unreality. He knows that more hands join together, we can actually make it tangible. And we would love to see more guys who have been a part of GDCS to be the torch-bearer.
Q: Any message to young entrepreneurs?
Ans: Keep your head right and your feet rooted to the ground. You do not let arrogance get over your mind and the hard work is the ingredient. And one thing to remember is that we do not see life as a struggle, but we should look it like a challenge and each challenge empowers us, teaches us, educates us and make us better since yesterday and better for tomorrow.