Learning from the United States and Fixing Nepal's Healthcare Problem | Hamro Patro

ब्लग - साहित्य / Blog

Learning from the United States and Fixing Nepal's Healthcare Problem

   Rudra Pandey - Nov 14 2021

A very easy-to-use universal telehealth system in Nepal could do the magic

I have observed the United States Healthcare system closely for the last 20 plus years. I am not only a consumer of the system but have also started two healthcare software companies and sold them. I would not say I know the healthcare system inside-out, but I can confidently say that I understand problems US consumers face.

I think it is safe to say that the wealthiest country on the planet has one of the most inefficient healthcare systems in the world. And while technology has challenged and changed every other industry in the US, healthcare has been the slowest to adapt.

Why did I start with the United States when I wanted to talk about the healthcare system in Nepal? Because I know the American system as much as I know the Nepali one. And to tell you the truth, Nepal does not have any system. It is complete chaos.

The question then is, should we try and copy developed nations like the US? The answer is a NO. Definitely a BIG NO!

That is not to say the American healthcare system is completely useless. On the contrary, even though healthcare is most expensive on a per capita basis, the US system is considered one of the best, and when it comes to taking care of patients with chronic illness, it is one of the finest. Yet, it is considered one of the most inefficient systems in the world and we should learn from the US's mistakes.

The US healthcare system has a middleman problem. Too many middlemen are making too much money. As a result, doctors and patients are constantly being squeezed or pushed to the corners. The technology innovation in the US is trying to disrupt this system, cut middlemen's share, and put consumers in the driving seat by providing them direct uncontrolled access to doctors.

Nepal can leapfrog. We can avoid the many mistakes developed nations have made. They have taken years to learn, and we do not need to waste years learning the lessons they did. For starters, we should start cutting middle-men's share and let patients work directly with doctors. Then, doctors will get their fair share of profits, and patients will have a front seat in decision-making. They can jointly decide which hospitals to go to, which tests to partake in and what prescription medicine to order.

How can we do that? Think of thousands of doctors and millions of patients trying to connect to them. Theoretically, patients are looking for doctors every minute, and doctors are looking for patients. Because they cannot find each other directly, a middleman comes into the picture. Typical middlemen are hospitals, multidisciplinary clinics, testing labs, and pharmacies. These middlemen run the show. What if we could provide a tech platform where every patient in Nepal could go to and connect to doctors next door or 100 kilometers away?

This is possible, and we call it a telehealth platform. A very easy-to-use universal telehealth system in Nepal could do the magic. Thousands of Nepali doctors will be one click away from patients' smart mobile phones. The river will flow to the thirsty instead of the thirsty looking for the river.

This is not a small initiative. Can the government of Nepal do it? No, this isn't for the government. Only an entrepreneur can do this, and one with the best shot of getting it done is a mobile app that has already connected millions of Nepalis, Hamro Patro.

With millions of Nepali customers, Hamro Patro Tele-Health has the best shot of taking the Nepal healthcare system to the level that Americans have been trying to take for years.

The work has already begun.

Rudra Pandey, PhD
Hamro Patro, Inc.

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Hamro Patro - Connecting Nepali Communities
Hamro Patro is one of the first Nepali app to include Nepali Patro, launched in 2010. We started with a Nepali Calendar mobile app to help Nepalese living abroad stay in touch with Nepalese festivals and important dates in Nepali calendar year. Later on, to cater to the people who couldn’t type in Nepali using fonts like Preeti, Ganesh and even Nepali Unicode, we built nepali mobile keyboard called Hamro Nepali keyboard.