Memorial Sloan Kettering launches telemedicine center in India

Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center is opening a store in India, offering video calls to its oncologists or even organizing trips for patients to the provider’s main campus in New York, the company said Wednesday.

MSK’s oncologists who specialize in a patient’s specific cancer will review the patient’s medical records and test results and provide a comprehensive written opinion, meet with them on-line, or discuss their treatment plan with a local oncologist.

Both MSK and India have been particularly hard hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, which has hit MSK’s finances hard and caused an alarming decline in cancer care in the world’s second most populous country.

MSK will open a physical unit in Chennai, but patients across India will be able to receive medical care from their homes without traveling, the company said. in the news release… At the Chennai Clinic, staff coordinating written and virtual consultations will be able to communicate in English, Hindi, Urdu, Tamil, Telugu and Kannada.

MSK has teamed up with iCliniq, an Indian telemedicine provider, to offer these services. iCliniq specializes in obtaining additional opinions and online medical advice; it is practiced by more than 3500 doctors in 196 countries of the world.

Memorial Sloan Kettering will provide services including diagnostics, X-ray scans, tumor sequencing, treatment advice, and travel assistance to New York City. For patients who prefer to travel, MSC will help with visa letters, organization of transport to / from the airport, accommodation options and interpretation services in any language.

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused a sharp decline in cancer services provided at 41 major cancer centers in India, according to recent study at Lancet Oncology… Missed or delayed cancer diagnoses in India could cause “serious health problems in the next 5 years,” the researchers warn.

Indian citizens have access to free medical care at government facilities. However, the system is overwhelmed: an acute shortage of personnel and supplies is forcing many patients to pay for services from private providers out of their own pockets. Commonwealth Foundation

In the fall of 2018, the Indian government launched a new insurance program for low-income residents. Since then, the program has distributed over 150 million recipient cards and covered nearly 18 million hospitalizations, according to March review researchers from Duke University and the Public Health Foundation of India. But the program does not cover outpatient care – which accounted for about 60% of India’s personal spending in 2016 – and use appears to be concentrated in wealthier states.

Memorial Sloan Kettering was also hit during the pandemic, reporting an almost 8% operating loss margin in the 2020 calendar year, losing $ 417 million on $ 5.4 billion in operating revenue. Last year, the system saw fewer commercially insured patients and more Medicare and Medicaid patients.

About three dozen American hospitals and health care systems admit patients in other countries as their domestic incomes stabilize or fall. UPMC in Pittsburgh, for example, plans to operate five hospitals in China through a partnership with the Wanda Group, a multinational conglomerate based in Beijing. The first facility is slated to open in mid-2022.

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