RML's 'Can Do' Spirit is Setting Standards in Healthcare: Dr Tiwari

Dr. (Prof) V.K. Tiwari
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Dr (Prof)  V. K. Tiwari, a renowned plastic surgeon, was appointed Director and  Medical Superintendent of the Dr. Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital and Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER), New Delhi.

Earlier, he was Professor -Consultant and HOD in the Post Graduate department of Burns and Plastic Surgery. He gained his basic medical education MBBS and MS in M.L.N. Medical College, Allahabad, and subsequent post doctoral degree (M Ch in plastic surgery) from Safdarjung Hospital and Delhi University in 1985. He has been attached as faculty to the Department of Burns, Plastic and Maxillofacial Surgery, V.M.M.C. &  Safdarjung Hospital, New Delhi, for the last 27 years.

Awarded for APSI 1992 Peet’s Prize, Dr Tiwari is one of the pioneers to start micro vascular surgery work at New Delhi and has been doing re-implants of hand, fingers, foot, penis, scalp etc. Apart from his distinguished clinical work in the field of plastic surgery, he is well known for his academic contributions. Author of two books on burns, he has many original papers to his credit in different national and international journals, mainly electrical injuries and those associated with kite flying.  A past president of the Association of Plastic Surgeons of India, he has invented dynamic hypospadias repair, star-plasty and prepuce as distant flap of burns and plastic surgical techniques.  In an exclusive interview with BS Rawat, Dr Tiwari shares his views on the challenges being faced by the Central Government’s premier medical institute and improvements he wants to bring.  Excerpts:

Drug Today Medical Times: You have been working with RML as a plastic surgeon. How do you feel being appointed as the Medical Superintendent?

Dr V.K. Tiwari: I had come to PGIMER to start M.Ch. (Plastic Surgery) courses in 2014. In the first batch, four students had joined the institute, and now it has 16 students. It’s a great honour, at the same time a big responsibility because it is a unique hospital for patient care, research and academy.

DTMT: What are the challenges that RML Hospital faces today?

DVKT: Challenges in RML Hospital include the huge patient load. It is a big referral Government healthcare institution, and has 71 beds in a Nursing Home for the C.G.H.S beneficiaries, including Maternity Nursing Home. Patients are suffering here due to lack of accommodation and are being referred to other hospitals.

DTMT: Where is RML today on the digitalization platform?

DVKT: The RML Hospital will soon go to WIFI that allows the hospital to operate electronically for easy access to patients’ records and updates, as well as to interlinking all the laboratories. Our OPD services are already digitalized so that one can get online appointment of doctors and, therefore, they don’t have to come to hospital to book an appointment. MRD section in the hospital is confidential and only authorized personnel can have access to it.

DTMT: What are the areas of priority for you?

DVKT: Providing exemplary medical care for each of our patients with continued commitment to the care of the poor and those most in need with the provision of highly specialized services to a community is my top priority area in the hospital. Building a work environment where each person is valued, respected and has an opportunity for personal and professional growth is a priority too.

DTMT: Which qualities make RML hospital unique?

DVKT: We are a ‘can do’ team. Through positive energy, we can, and we will, meet the needs of those we serve. We are here to better the lives of others and we are profoundly aware of the value of each human being. We wait for opportunity where we are learning every time and share our past experiences which are beneficial to our patients. Dedicated service, team work, respect of patient, 'can do' attitude and setting standards in health care is the success of our mission. The hospital has laid down disaster action plan and disaster beds, which are made operational in case of mass casualties and disaster.

DTMT: Are you planning to bring any changes in the education system at RML?

DVKT: We are regularly adding more and more departments in PG and super speciality courses. Also, we have a very good super speciality academic programme so that the students who come out of the PGIMER are best in the country.

DTMT: Shortage of staff has been ailing the hospital for long as hiring could not be done due to several reasons?

DVKT: This is wrong. Presently, we have full faculty in the hospital. New UPSC faculty is arriving on a regular basis. In some departments, we have ad hoc staff. But these will be very soon replaced by regular faculty. We have only out-sourced staff for non technical work such as security guards, sweepers etc.

DTMT: What vision do you have for the next few years at RML?

DVKT: Our vision is to become the best in patient-care, streamline procedures so that we have minimum waiting period for patients, try expand our area so that we have good space for patients to sit and no overcrowding of the area. We are planning to double the total beds strength to 3000. We are also looking at expanding our OPD services because currently we have a lot of crowd in every department. At the same time, we are going to open super speciality block, maternity and child healthcare centre, Para medical college and an undergraduate medical college at the hospital premises.

DTMT: Why are doctors opposing the National Medical Commission Bill?

DVKT: The NMC bill looks positive and constructive in it's spirit to increase accountability among medical administrators, and to ensure participation of stakeholders from all walks of life. People naturally resist change, because we grow accustomed to the security offered by our current circumstances.

DTMT: How do you view the overall healthcare sector in India?

DVKT: India is one of the preferred destinations for medical tourism, which implies that many of our hospitals are providing world-class treatment at relatively lower costs. We also have Ayushman Bharat with the aim to provide health insurance cover to nearly 50 crore Indians. But our problem is overpopulation which is growing at an alarming rate.

DTMT: What is the secret of your success?

DVKT: There is no secret to success. There is just hard work, passion, dedication and honesty towards the profession.

DTMT: How do you balance between your work and family?

DVKT: In the initial life we had a little problem. Now, children are grown and independent. But I never compromise with my professional work.

DTMT: What is your message for the readers?

DVKT: With all good wishes, we together can work for a better community and better patient care in RML Hospital.


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