Sunday, May 28, 2017

Winds of change - 12

(This is the twelfth part of a short story which is entirely a work of fiction.)

Vasudha felt bad at how she treated Sheshu’s plan. She was torn between doing something that she knew would make him genuinely happy and doing what she thought was right for the hospital. She realised that they had convinced close family and friends to invest their money in this venture. She also realised that they both had worked so hard to set up the hospital and bring it to a position that it was in today. She had a duty to the people who had invested and to themselves as well to make this a commercially successful venture. Was there a way both could be done?

Vasudha recalled what she liked about Sheshu. When she had met Sheshu for the first time, she was deeply drawn by his no-pretence, genuine demeanour. She loved him for his innocence. Here was a guy who was completely what-you-see-is-what-you-get. She had met so many attractive men during her IIM days and later, in her stint in consulting. She found most of them putting on facades. They would say things they did not believe in just to make an impression. People like to have others think about them in a certain way. They say things that reinforced the false personas they have built around themselves. Things became really complicated when the individuals themselves started believing the lies they’ve been peddling. Their lives became totally messed up at that stage.

Sheshu, on the other hand was like a sheet of glass, completely transparent. After years of living with him, she knew that he could never say something he did not believe in. Vasudha loved this vulnerability.

Vasudha wanted Sheshu to be happy. She would do something that would pacify him.

The next day, she called a meeting of the Admin Team. Along with the email requesting a meeting, she gave a high level overview of Sheshu’s plan and attached the presentation file. She asked them to review the presentation and be ready with comments before the meeting.

The team met at the Conference Room. Vasudha began the discussion. She talked about how change is the only constant in life and how they needed to adapt to the changing times. With patient-centric care becoming the latest buzzword in healthcare, maybe Narayana needed to think things afresh and come up with some new, radical ideas. The team heard her carefully. She then invited comments on the plan that she sent to them. One by one, the team pointed out problems with the plan. The objections were on the same lines as those that Vasudha had voiced to Sheshu.

One of the team members, Manav Sharma was silent. Vasudha looked towards him and asked, “Manav, you seem to be quiet. What are you thinking?”

“Ma’am, I believe this plan has its merits. The key to this plan is to ensure increased patient walk-ins which will ultimately protect the hospital’s revenue and bottomline. We all understand that our numbers eventually depend on volumes. If we come up with an intelligent marketing campaign around  this - for both doctors and patients, we can make this work. But it will not be a short term thing. We will need to be patient. In the end it can work.”

“Interesting take Manav. The question is, will we have enough time before panic sets in? Also, do you think we can do something with the government on this?”

“Government would be very interested in this model. With Aarogyasri bleeding like crazy, I am sure they would be keen to see how this model works”, Manav said.

“Ok. Thanks all of you for your inputs. Let me think about this.”

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