Access to Healthcare
Col. Arun Kumar Sharma (Ret.), Deputy General Manager Human Resources and the Vice chairman of the Ashiyana Trust leads the health care initiatives of the company. He works closely with the location managers and doctors to ensure that at all times, there is easy and fruitful access to health care in areas where these facilities did not exist. Excerpts from an interview he gave to Touching Lives, the magazine of the alliance which documents our relationship with the communities around us:
1) How has the company monitored and tried to look after the health and well being of communities in and around the areas of its operations?
Answer : The health and the well being of communities in Goa, especially those who live in and around our areas of operation have been our natural concern for over thirty years. Doctors, who are employees of the company, are posted in these clinics to provide treatment and medicines free of cost. We have given access to health care where none existed
2) What role do the health center’s play in forging a stronger bond between the communities and our company?
Answer : Over time, patients and their families have grown close to doctors and have started confiding in them about other issues related to their lives and of the village or town. This feedback has been important and helped us to identify other non health related requirements of people.
3) What are your plans to further improve the health infrastructure?
Answer : The existing infrastructure of clinics and medicines cater to their needs. We have a three pronged plan for improvement:
a) Induct more specialist doctors. b) Modernize our clinics with more facilities and equipment. c) Induct modern fully equipped ambulances to gradually replace the existing fleet.
4) Looking ahead, what do you feel should be the roadmap for further growth initiatives in the health sector for Fomento Resources?
Answer : There are still some areas, which we feel should be augmented with better health facilities. We are closely studying this and are confident of expanding our network of clinics and doctors.
(For a full transcript of the interview, please see page 18 of PDF version of Touching Lives, June 2010 at fomento.com/touching-lives.html)