Friday, March 7, 2008

C.L. Ashok Kumar

"Urology has become a very big specialty with a lot of sub-specialties within it. Urology mainly consists of the Genito-Urinary Surgeon who cures renal problems by surgery, and the Nephrologist who treats renal problems with drugs. This differentiation has to be fundamentally understood by the lay public, because there is a mix-up of patients on many occasions and they land up with a wrong consultant for their ailments. Kidney transplantation has itself taken huge strides today as the number of End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) patients is increasing by leaps and bounds. It is very simple knowledge that when an organ fails it has to be substituted, wherever a substitute is available, as in the case of kidney, liver, pancreas etc. The huge buckle in this kidney transplantation is due to lack of awareness of Brain-Death and the emotions of the relatives of the Brain-dead patient who is on the ventilator. When once they understand this phenomenon of Brain death, the number of cadaver kidneys will increase. But in no way it will match the demand and supply, because there is a huge gap between these two figures."

Dr C L Ashok Kumar, Consultant Urologist

March 7, over lunch


Murali said...

Questions for an e-mail interview...

1) As a practitioner of urology over the last about four decades, do you find that an increasing number of youth need surgical intervention? Your perspective on the trends in the field.

2) What advice would you give the youth so that they ensure the proper functioning of their kidneys? And why is it important to pay attention to kidneys? What is the minimum level of urology awareness that everybody should possess?

3) With a big gap between demand and supply for kidney transplant, in what ways do you think the gap can be reduced?

4) How healthy is the urology care in rural India? What are the missing links in the delivery of rural healthcare (from the urology perspective)? (equipment, facilities lacking)

5) Do we have the right insurance 'products' in the form of appropriate policies for patients?

6) What are the top myths about urology that you have been coming across over the years?

7) In your view, what can be the best practices relating to urology care that we can adopt from across the globe?

8) On the Research happening in your field.

9) Your views on the state of medical education in the country.

10) In what ways do you suggest there can be betterment in the healthcare delivery provided by the Government?

11) What was the motivation to become an Urologist? ("My teacher Dr A. Venugopal…")

12) Any other points of interest.

13) On the role of IT (information technology) in today's Urology practice

Murali said...

About Ashok Kumar...

In his own words

"Born on 3.9.1939, I had my schooling at different places of 2 years each, in the then Composite State of Madras as the then existing government order, that my father, a Judicial Officer, should not stay in the same place for more than two years. I completed my SSLC when I was 13-1/2 years and hence could not join college, as the then rule was that I should have completed 14 years to enter college. After completing the Intermediate at St. Joseph’s College, Trichy, I joined the prestigious Madras Medical College, where I did my MBBS. After 6 months, I got posted to the Dist. Head Quarters Hospital, Ramanathapuram. In 1965 I completed the M.S.(Gen.Sr.) Degree and in 1967, the M.Ch. in Urology.
I was deputed to England as a Commonwealth scholar for two years for higher training in Renal Transplant work. I visited the US as an Observer in Urology Training. Returned to India in 1982 and was posted as Urologist-cum-Nephrologist to Government Rajaji Hospital, Madurai. I came back to my alma mater, MMC in 1984. In 1987, I was the first in India to do a Renal Transplant at a government hospital totally free of cost, thanks to the then Chief Minister Dr. MGR, who was himself a transplant patient. In 1995, I became the Prof.& Head of the Dept. of Urology & Renal Transplant unit and in this period had done about 250 transplants. I retired in 1997.
Held President post of the various Urological Societies including the Indian Society of Organ transplant. Published a few papers in various journals with Research in mind. Was the Academic Officer-cum-sports officer-cum-NSS Officer for two years at The Dr.MGR Medical University.
Now I am quietly settled down with an only son, a Doctor too, and an only granddaughter 6 years old and doing freelance Urology Practice."