Dr. Ali Akbari Sari emphasizes the importance of cost effective interventions


 Management of Gastrointestinal Diseases

Dr. Ali Akbari Sari emphasizes the importance
of cost effective interventions

KARACHI: Clinicians like interventions and while managing gastrointestinal diseases at times they do very costly procedures. In developing resource constraint countries medical economics plays a very important role in provision of healthcare. Cost is very important and it is extremely important that clinicians are cost conscious. This was stated by Dr. Ali Akbari Sari from Tehran University of Medical Sciences. He was delivering a State of the Art lecture during the recently held 33rd Annual Conference of Pakistan Society of Gastroenterology & GI Endoscopy held here from March 9-11, 2017 where he was one of the invited guest speakers.

Dr. Ali Akbari Sari

Emphasizing the importance of cost effective interventions Dr. Ali Akbari Sari said that the clinicians should see the patients as a part of the whole system. They must know how the patient is paying. Is he or she getting some loan or selling some assets for seeking treatment. What about those who have no health insurance cover, what are the effects of these interventions on the society as a whole must be kept in mind. Few clinicians have put lot of stress on healthcare costs in Iran. There have been tremendous advances in medical technology but it must be used in a way that it is cost effective. At times the technology is over used but in certain cases it remains under used. The objective should be provision of effective healthcare at minimum cost which the patients can afford. It is for the professional specialty organizations and experts in the field to see which interventions should be allowed under what circumstances but it must be economical. All medical interventions must be cost effective which the society can afford. In addition certain ethical issues are also involved.

Dr. Ali Akbari further stated that we must do some cost effective analysis to see how much more benefits are achieved with these new interventions. We have to look at different aspects i.e. will it improve the quality of life of the patents or will it increase the life expectancy. In some countries patients are willing to pay even high cost for healthcare. He referred to the Introduction of latest oral therapy for Hepatitis-C i.e. Sofosobuvir which is extremely cost effective with a response rate of over 85%. It will go a long way in eliminating Hepatitis-C. In Iran, its prevalence at present was about 0.5%, he added. Some of the challenges which the developing countries were faced with included availability of data, quality of data with a timeline and estimation the cost of care. What we need is clinicians who are conscious about cost effectiveness of healthcare and promote cost effective interventions, he added.

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