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We Need to Focus on Holistic Healthcare: Upasana Kamineni Konidela of Apollo Foundation

Upasana Kamineni Konidela is Vice-Chairperson CSR of Apollo Foundation. She is a next-gen entrepreneur from the Apollo Hospitals Family who believes in creating socialistic sustainable businesses that create a meaningful impact and also give back to society as a whole.
The Apollo Hospitals Group spearheads many breakthroughs first-of-its-kind initiatives in healing India; two of which are: The Apollo Foundation and Apollo Life. The former believes in identifying, diagnosing, treating and educating people in need of medical care. On the other hand, Apollo Life is about making Urban India and the Indian workforce increase their productivity and manage their wellbeing harmoniously.
Since Upasana started Apollo Life using herself as an example and incorporating best wellbeing practices from around the world to help increase the productivity of Corporate India, Upasana firmly believes that the world can #HEALININDIA through #transformUrself.
Excerpts from an exclusive video interaction with Upasana Kamineni Konidela.

The healthcare systems across the world are currently facing a major overload as they strive to manage COVID and non-COVID patients. How is Apollo as a Healthcare service provider coping with this crisis?

COVID-19 is an unknown virus that has attacked our civilisation. Doctors, scientists, hospitals, are all learning new things about the virus every day. If we consider these aspects, I think the virus is being tackled in the best way we can. The government has taken every measure it can to contain the spread of the pandemic. There are thousands of perspectives that the government or hospitals have to consider before making a decision. The decision-makers are under a lot of pressure to take correct actions. Taking this into consideration, I think, we have done a great job in handling the pandemic.

What role can healthcare providers play at a time like this to provide a best-case scenario for the citizens?

Every hospital across the world is doing their best to help the patients. Patients are not being denied from treatment because of lack of financial resources. But there are a limited number of beds, and it is very difficult to increase the capacity at such short notice. These limitations should be kept in mind before blaming the healthcare providers for not doing enough.

There has been a surge in cases of mental trauma among the youth of India, as per a report. However, addressing this is difficult because of the stigma around mental health disorders. What needs to be done to remedy this in your opinion?

We are all going through a difficult time. We are not used to staying confined indoors or avoid socialising. This situation has certainly increased anxiety and depression among people. I think this should not be taken lightly. It is important for people to understand the gravity of mental health illnesses and seek advice from a clinically certified expert instead of relying on self-acclaimed mental health experts on social media.
On an individual level, we need to stay strong and positive. Therefore, each of us needs to make an effort to make a habit of being positive. We need to make an effort to define what is important for us and act on our priorities, to grow stronger.

According to a report by Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, COVID-19 has undone global healthcare development of 25 years in just 25 weeks. What kind of capacity building will India require to rebuild itself in this regard?

I think we need to approach healthcare more holistically. Allopathy and doctor’s advice addresses on half of the health issues.  For the rest, we need to find what works for us and adopt it to stay healthy or to recover faster – be it Yoga, Ayurveda or any other form of healing. This kind of holistic approach is required for the world to lead a better and healthier life. I think India can lead the world in this matter and the world can heal in India.

What kind of policy measures from the government might help faster recovery in your opinion?

The government is already doing a great job by promoting AYUSH and Yoga. However, in order to ensure that more and more people benefit from this, insurance coverage for these products and services needs to increase. So if the government promotes such insurance products, it will be very beneficial to the masses. In addition to this, if the wellness services are not taxed, they would be accessible to more number of people and would improve the overall health scenario of the country.

How can citizens of India contribute on an individual level to help the nation get out of this hopeless situation?

We are all sailing through stressful times. Amid this, instead of harbouring negativity, citizens can do their best to spread positivity. Because we need more strength and positivity at this time. For this, every individual needs to strive to be happy and positive. They need to be generous to themselves as well as to others. They need to question the beliefs that do not make sense. They need to strengthen their inner selves, their relationships and their character. For this, I would suggest everyone to do what makes you happy. To learn, unlearn, relearn and keep repeating the cycle till you are the best version of yourself in the given circumstance.