Sunil Saggar is currently the chief executive officer at Jaipur Golden Hospital in New Delhi. He is a Qualified Hospital Administrator and has also done his Masters in Hospital Management and Human Resource Management. Besides, he is also Six Sigma (Green Belt) trained and certified Hospital Industry professional with more than 36 years of versatile experience in management cadre across various hospitals including St Stephen’s Hospital, Gandhi Eye Hospital, Narinder Mohan Hospital, Moolchand Medicity, and Rajiv Gandhi Cancer Hospital. He is also a member of various professional bodies and work groups.
In an exclusive interview with India Medical Times, Sunil Saggar spoke about the new trends, evolution and quality care in the healthcare industry of India.
What are the new initiatives taken at the Jaipur Golden Hospital under your leadership?
Healthcare delivery is the delivery which is the most desirable and wanting at the time of the meet. Jaipur Golden Hospital is purely a charitable hospital institution. We are a unique hospital where the patients who are under the BPL (Below Poverty Line) category are taken care of as any private patient would have taken care of. Jaipur Golden Hospital is a complete hospital, which provides all services from A to Z. This is a unique hospital where general/free OPDs are at prime time i.e. morning 9am to 11am. We make sure it is attended by senior consultants and not by senior residents or junior consultants. This is a place where stress is made on choosing your own thing – whether you want to come to general OPD or private OPD – nobody forces you. This is again a unique hospital where under the category of BPL — we have 10% beds free, 20% OPDs free — we provide all the services free because if you see my tagline, WE CARE WITH CARE, that is the point we are making. At Jaipur Golden Hospital we do organ transplant, kidney transplant, cardiac surgery, almost everything and our results are best under the world standards. Whatever we do is not as per the requirement of law but as per the conscious call, which is given i.e. ‘we are here to serve and care with care’.
What are the initiatives taken at this hospital under your leadership?
We create leaders. In our office, there are no calls for managers to how to do things. Because leadership starts from the very beginning – right from the ‘In Gate’ to the ‘Out Gate’.
What a healthcare CEO can and should do to reform the healthcare system?
A healthcare CEO ideally should do what he would expect to be done when he has gone to another hospital (as a patient), for example: service with smile, non-commercial principals, and ethical practices.
What is the advantage of having a professional CEO rather than a senior clinical officer at the helm of affairs?
Having a professional administrative head of the organisation is an advantage especially if he is laced with experience and expertise; it is a completion of the whole thing. The professional CEO, who knows the administrative processes, looks at all the things from the administrative angle, understands the financial, administrative, legal and other things. So that’s the advantage of it. Otherwise if you look at any other person where one side is missing – the delivery of the results will also get affected largely due to this.
What are the strengths of Jaipur Golden Hospital?
The strength is service with smile, ethical practices and taking care of patients as if you are taking care of yourself.
How quality care accreditation is important for a hospital?
Most important aspect of delivering services is ensuring the quality delivered. Quality is not that quality which I understand is management driven qualities. We keep on taking feedbacks from the patients. We keep on raising the expectations of the patients who come to receive a service and then deliver according to that.
What should be done to improve doctor-patient relationship in the changing times?
Ethical services. What is the ABC of a doctor? A is availability, B is behaviour and C is competence. The moment a patient wants a service from a doctor, if a doctor is available it basically serves the purpose. Then his behaviour – he should have time to listen to his patients, he should use his fingers as a physician who understands things, not ordering unnecessary investigations or diagnosis. We at Jaipur Golden Hospital through our team ensure that unnecessary investigations are not done, unnecessary diagnosis are not done, unnecessary references are not made. Doctors should have time to listen to patients. That’s why we make sure our senior consultants provide services to poor patients.
What are some of the major challenges before the Indian healthcare system?
First major challenge is corrupt medical practices, which somehow the industry players are trying to introduce. Second challenge is the referral practices. Third, it is a high investment intensive activity wherein if you do not want to invest in technology, you won’t be giving quality services; and even if we are investing in that the return on it becomes very difficult, because of some corrupt players, some of the players which actually want to have the things done on cut practices or other things. That will kill a genuine organisation – the patient will get diverted for some vested interests.
How to control corruption in healthcare and who will do that?
First of all, if someone wants to set the system right, he or she would have to correct himself or herself first. It’s a moral value. The law, whatsoever you make, it may not work very effectively. Why we have entered this profession? Why we started an organisation? Why there is healthcare delivery service? We have to set our own standards — those standards which are acceptable to the society as well as acceptable to me if I am the service taker.
You have spent more than 36 years in this field, so you have seen the system deteriorated? What are the factors that led to this change?
Over a period of time values have lost their value.
Could you please explain this?
You go to a doctor who is in his 70s or 80s, and you will find that his approach to seeing a patient and a youngster’s approach to seeing a patient is very different. That explains everything. Experience matters. Unless we have taken the history of a patient, unless we have examined the patient, unless we have applied our mind to that, unless we are sure what requires to be done, if we start treating the patient without knowing enough of his history and how much the history is taken that will decide the type of result, the outcome of the treatment. Youngsters have no time and that has eroded their values.
Where do you think the Indian healthcare system is heading?
Strong revolutions are required otherwise we will go down the drain. It is getting eroded and it is eroding fast.
Please explain what kind of revolutions should be there.
The government has taken certain initiatives but those initiatives are again implemented at some level. There might be a revolution but there is no revolution to regulate those people who are chosen for the revolution. That’s the crisis. If you want, you can corrupt the system. Do whatever you want, all the systems are in place, but people still find loopholes – look at pharma industry, diagnostic industry or whatever is there. So, what is important here – it is to regulate ourselves. If everybody corrects himself then the job is done!
Anything you would like to add?
We should treat patients as the boss. Who is the boss in this industry? It is the patient. If the patient decides to spend his time elsewhere, no institution would exist. So, patients basically give us an opportunity to serve. And if we do not provide that service, he will go away.
by Rajesh Barnwal