An online platform has been created for patients to avail a second opinion from doctors and specialists to ensure that their treatment course being adopted is right and genuine. This could avoid instances of hospitals, especially private ones, being accused of misleading patients to jack up their medical bills.
The platform (www.medimint.com) has been created to offer accessibility of medical professionals and medical facilities to patients to clear their doubts about the treatment that they are receiving in any hospital or from any doctor.
"For a nominal fee (of between Rs.500 and Rs.3,000), we have a panel of specialists who will offer a second opinion to the patient concerned within 72 hours of submission of the case data. The second opinion will help you by either confirming or correcting or highlighting additional aspects to the primary diagnosis," said G.K. Jain, who has launched the online platform with a number of specialists from across the country and international medical experts.
The online platform has over 30 medical specialists, including doctors of international repute. Apart from consultations, the site also provides doorstep delivery of medicines and doorstep collection of samples.
"With the arrival of second opinion site like Medimint, I see a new paradigm in obtaining a second opinion from the best experts in the field at a fraction of the cost. In the past, if a patient was not satisfied with treatment, he had to travel long distances and incur huge expenses. Now, this will be a thing in the past," said leading international ophthalmologist and former dean of the Post-Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER), Amod Gupta.
Gupta, who was conferred the Padma Shri, the country's fourth-highest civilian award, in 2014, is credited with discovering a new disease, Serpiginous Choroiditis, or eye TB. He has also done pioneering work to report that lipid-lowering drugs or Statins are highly useful in diabetic retinopathy.
For the first three months, Gupta has offered free second opinions or consultancy to all patients reaching him through Medimint.
It was a chance suggestion by S P Kaushik, a medical educationist and specialist in surgical gastroenterology and laparoscopic surgery from the Sanjay Gandhi PGIMER-Lucknow, that patients should have access to second opinions from specialists that Medimint brought established doctors on a single platform.
"David Berger, a Australian physician who had spent some time in the Himalayan states, published an article in British Medical Journal in May 2014, entitled 'Corruption ruins the doctor-patient relationship in India' in which he described the prevalent unethical practices and money-making exploitation of the common man in our system of medicare. I feel very sad and hurt about these observations and allegations," said Kaushik, who has published a book on 'Ethics of Medical and Health Care in India'.
"Medimint has been created to increase accessibility of common people to the best available medical talent in the country. It will help to bring in transparency in clinical management and treatment of any patient," he added.
"With the advancement of technology, most of the user records are available in digital format. This makes it convenient to transmit high-quality data to doctors and get an online diagnosis done. Patients no longer have to spend time and money in travel and waiting in OPD queues. Online doctor help is a big relief as it helps in extending the reach of doctors to much wider areas," Jain added.