The SEH system is based on the premise that quality eye care, comparable with the world’s best, must reach the highest volume of patients possible, including those living in remote areas by taking eye care to the community’s doorsteps. Every person has a right to eye care, and the best treatment must be delivered to all without compromising on quality, and according to international protocols. Another aspect of this belief is that the patient must receive ideal holistic management, that is, that all spheres of the patient’s life must be considered before prescribing treatment modalities; that the best possible treatment must be given within the socio-economic constraints faced by the patient. For instance, medical treatment for glaucoma is life-long and often expensive; SEH believes that, for patients having financial constraints, it may be best to operate early or use generic antiglaucoma medication so that the patient receives effective treatment but within the bounds of his/her financial situation.
Empathetic Pricing – SEH hospitals’ mission is to provide quality andcost-effective eye care to their patients. The SEH price structure is based on the premise that those who can afford, should pay for treatment - thus subsidising services to the poor and performing a social service, while those who can’t, should be treated at subsidised rates or free of cost. In short, logically best eye care is provided despite the ability to pay. This inclusive approach ensures that the poor and the underprivileged are not deprived of world-class eye care provided by the hospitals. The SEH outreach programme has been especially effective in reaching out to the poor and needy who are transported from their homes to hospitals and back in SEH vans, fed and treatedfree of cost. A percentage (70 percent) of the hospital beds are also reserved for these patients.
Patient Counselling - Patient counselling at SEH hospitals is an important aspect of the compassionate and caring environment provided to the patients and their families/relatives. Keeping patients or their representatives informed about aspects such as about the disease that they are suffering from, directions on use of medicines, advice on side effects, and precautions and life style modifications to be undertaken after surgery assumes special importance in rural areas where people are unaware about healthcare in general. Not only does counselling serve to enhance patient compliance but is an important factor in creating awareness amongst the community on eye related problems and treatment.Patient becomes partner in his own treatment and takes equal ownership regarding success and failure hence keeping a high trust based relationship with the organization. Patient counselling is provided by paramedical ophthalmic assistants (OAs) who guide the patients through every step of their visit to the hospitals.
Emotional Support - Getting treatment for a medical problem is often a traumatic experience for people, especially the young and old. This is especially true in a rural environment when the patient may be visiting a hospital or getting professional medical care for the very first time in her/his life. Service at the SEH hospitals is especially geared to ensure that, far from finding their hospital visit a distressing experience, patients receive sympathetic emotional support from the hospital staff. SEH Ophthalmic Assistant (OAs) are especially trained to guide each patient through the hospital procedures by accompanying them, and to lend an empathetic ear to the patient’s apprehensions as well as to provide appropriate advice.