India Arthritis & Osteoporosis Conclave 2021: Doctors call for multi-sectorial action to address musculoskeletal disability in India

Event was organized jointly by Delhi chapter of Indian Orthopedic Association, Fortis Flt. Lt. Rajan Dhall Hospital Vasant Kunj, Dr Joints, Bone and Joints Care Society and GD Goenka University

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Image-Dr Dhananjay Gupta, Organising Chairman, IAOC 2021 and Director Orthopaedics, Fortis Flt Lt Rajan Dhall Hospital, Vasant Kunj.
New Delhi: At the third edition of the India Arthritis and Osteoporosis Conclave 2021, held in New Delhi on 17th October, 2021, doctors and public health experts called for raising awareness around musculoskeletal disabilities and speeding up prevention and treatment solutions along with comprehensive policy decisions and action.
With rise in senior citizen population in India suffering from musculoskeletal disorders and a significant number of people affected by osteoarthritis, bone and joint issues amidst COVID-19, this important conclave, organized during World Arthritis and Osteoporosis Week, focused on early diagnosis, encouraging people, particularly senior citizens, to come for timely customized treatment and community and rehabilitative solutions at the local level.
Dr Dhananjay Gupta, Organising Chairman, IAOC 2021 and Director Orthopaedics, Fortis Flt Lt Rajan Dhall Hospital, Vasant Kunj, shared, “COVID-19 has given us many important learnings to adopt approaches and strategies for other diseases as well. It has taught us the value of local self-sustained and self-sufficient health care with implementation at ground level. There is an urgent need for skilled manpower and trained healthcare workers at village and mohalla levels to conduct health camps and spread awareness among the community on the benefits of early diagnosis and timely treatment. We also require digital connectivity and facilities to strengthen online consultations to improve access to remote care, track cases and ensure compliance. In addition, a strong local supply chain and support for financial rehabilitation of needy patients is a must. For this we need multi-stakeholder support from Government, healthcare bodies and public health specialists.”
Dr Ashutosh Raghuvanshi, CEO and MD, Fortis Healthcare said, “multi-speciality tertiary hospitals alone cannot cater to the huge numbers of patients and senior citizens seeking life-saving care from across India, and particularly, for musculoskeletal disability. We need to increase connect between healthcare providers and the community to improve access. District levels hospitals must have dedicated MSK rehabilitation centres with surgical units and resources must be allocated for central level tertiary care centres for advanced surgery, orthosis, prosthetics and post operative care. Non-profit organizations and Think Tanks must help with financial and rehabilitative care and placement of the differently abled in suitable positions as per their abilities”.
The conclave saw participation from more than 1100 delegates (at the venue and online combined) with representatives from Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Ministry of Home affairs, Director General Health Services, Indian Orthopaedic Association, Delhi Orthopaedic Association, AIIMS, Delhi Medical Council as well as corporations, educational institutions, many well-known orthopaedic surgeons and pulmonologists, along with faculty experts from Mumbai, Goa, Jhansi, Varanasi, Nagpur and Bhopal. Dr Ashutosh Raghuvanshi, CEO and MD, Fortis healthcare graced the event as the Chief Guest and delivered the keynote address online. Dr Arun Gupta, President, Delhi Medical Council was the Guest of Honour and addressed the audience in person. The sessions saw many speakers placing emphasis on forging alliances between care givers and the community, national programmes for the elderly, challenges in providing quality are during lockdowns, managing MSK disabilities aggressively and need for skilling of healthcare workers.