75 health journalists and 40 industry leaders from across the country discuss how to detect fake health news and uphold the trust of people in the healthcare system
New Delhi: More than 75 health journalists from various parts of the country gathered under one roof to upgrade their knowledge about pressing health issues. At a three-day national health media convention organised by HEAL Foundation with the Indian Institute of Mass Communication (IIMC) as Academic Partner around 40 leaders of the health care industry interacted with the health writers.
Addressing the health writers and professionals, Minister of State for Health and Family Welfare Ashwini Choubey congratulated the HEAL Foundation for taking the initiative for capacity building of health writers, especially the vernacular media from all parts of the country.
The Convention had key panel discussions on topics like ‘Menace of Fake Health News’ and ‘Upholding Trust in Healthcare’, where speakers like Padam Bhushan Awardee, Cardiologist and Chairman of Fortis Hospital Dr Ashok Seth, Medical Superintendent of AIIMS Dr Shakti Kumar Gupta and Director General of Indian Institute of Mass Communication KG Suresh presented their views. Shri KG Suresh promised a long-term association with the HEAL Foundation for capacity building of the health writers and editors. Senior Nutrition Specialist at World Bank Ashi Kathuria shared insights on FSSAI’s Eat Right India Movement which is spreading the message of Food Fortification, Food Safety, Reduced intake of foods high in fats, sugar, and salt, and 1st 1000 days of life India-wide.
Sharing his opinion on Upholding Trust in Healthcare, Dr. Ashok Seth said, “Doctors always work under a lot of pressure at odd hours, which often results in miscommunication or no communication. For trust-building among patients and doctors, it is very important for doctors to have empathy towards patients. A clear and polite communication goes a long way in trust building. Few words from doctors decide the words of patient’s relatives if things go haywire. Patient’s feedback for the same result can be ‘Doctor tried his best’ or ‘doctor was negligent’ depending on doctor’s empathy and communication.”
Dr Pramod Kumar, Chief News Coordinator in Organiser, said a severe trust deficit exists in the healthcare sector. Most people feel that the private hospitals are money making shops and they have nothing to do with ensuring health for all. Referring to the health issues of the journalists he pointed out that most people working in the newsroom today suffer from severe stress which is causing various diseases. He said it is because of the stress that many budding journalists are leaving the profession. If it continues journalism will lose a big talent pool. He stressed the need that the media houses must look into this issue urgently and some corrective steps should be taken without wasting time. He also stressed on highlighting positive stories in the health sector. Yogesh Pawar, Deputy News Editor in DNA and Sudhir Mishra, health and environment lawyer, also joined the discussion.
Founder of HEAL Foundation and founding Managing Partner of India Virtual Hospital Shri Swadeep Srivastva said, “The Convention has established itself as a bridge between the health journalists and doctors, hospitals, pharma industry, and other industry players. Journalists get the opportunity for capacity building from key industry leaders that give them access to the first-hand information about industry developments. The objective of the 6th Convention was to touch-base our health writers and editors with the recent advances in the healthcare industry and increasing roles and responsibilities of health media in the holistic improvement of healthcare.” Cipla and Maharishi Ayurveda participated in the convention as ‘Berok Zindagi’ and Ayurveda partners respectively. Cipla organised free pulmonary function tests for the attendees of the convention, whereas Maharishi Ayurveda arranged a free Ayurveda check-up. — Organiser Bureau