Dr Moopen of Aster Health­care on safe­guard­ing health­care dur­ing tough times

CEO Middle East - - CON­TENTS -


by its healthy cit­i­zens and ed­u­ca­tion which ul­ti­mately leads to its eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment. As such, health­care should be con­sid­ered more than just a busi­ness. It is a ser­vice ded­i­cated to the wel­fare of peo­ple, restor­ing well­ness and sav­ing lives, which ul­ti­mately leads to build­ing the ca­pa­bil­ity of a na­tion to progress. In the process profit just be­comes a by-prod­uct. As health­care providers, we have the op­por­tu­nity to make a mean­ing­ful dif­fer­ence by giv­ing back to the so­ci­ety and ful­fill many of the cru­cial need gaps which ex­ists in ac­cess­ing health­care.

When Aster DM Health­care started its jour­ney with a sin­gle clinic in Dubai in 1987, health­care in UAE was still in its nascent stages with lim­ited qual­ity health­care op­tions be­ing avail­able for the ex­pats in UAE. We started re­ceiv­ing many pa­tients and I started of­fer­ing free con­sul­ta­tions and free medicines ev­ery Tues­day for the peo­ple who could not af­ford med­i­cal treat­ments. The con­cept of giv­ing back to the so­ci­ety be­came in-grained into the DNA of our or­gan­i­sa­tion and as the or­gan­i­sa­tion grew, so did our ef­forts to reach out to as many peo­ple as we can. In 2016, Aster Vol­un­teers was es­tab­lished as the CSR arm of Aster DM Health­care with an aim of serv­ing as a cat­a­lyst for so­cial im­pact ac­tion and to func­tion as a plat­form for all those who wish to con­trib­ute to our hu­man­i­tar­ian ef­forts. Op­er­at­ing un­der a two-fold ap­proach, Aster Vol­un­teers en­cour­ages mem­bers from our in­ter­nal group en­ti­ties to per­son­ally take up and see through as many ini­tia­tives as pos­si­ble to give back to the so­ci­ety. On the other hand, we are work­ing to build a com­bined vol­un­teer force con­sist­ing of Aster em­ploy­ees and mem­bers of the pub­lic, who are will­ing to utilise their time and en­ergy to make a mean­ing­ful im­pact in the so­ci­ety.

Grad­u­ally, the plat­form has grown to em­power com­mu­ni­ties to drive the spirit of vol­un­teerism through so­cial im­pact in­ter­ven­tions in health­care, en­vi­ron­ment, ed­u­ca­tion and so­cial up­lift­ing through sus­tain­able prac­tices. We aim to make the pro­gramme a global move­ment by seek­ing to bridge the gap be­tween the thou­sands of peo­ple who need help and many oth­ers who are will­ing to spend their time to help peo­ple in need, ir­re­spec­tive

of dif­fer­ences in eth­nic­ity, dis­tance, ca­pa­bil­i­ties and cul­tural back­ground.

To­day, the pro­gramme is op­er­at­ing through eight core pil­lars – free surg­eries and in­ves­ti­ga­tions, ba­sic life sup­port aware­ness, dis­as­ter re­lief and aid pro­gramme, free med­i­cal and well­ness camp, re­cruit­ment and sup­port of peo­ple with de­ter­mi­na­tion, mo­bile med­i­cal ser­vices, child health and well­ness, and sus­tain­abil­ity and com­mu­nity con­nect. Most of our ini­tia­tives un­der these pil­lars are be­ing driven by our em­ploy­ees based across the eight coun­tries in which we are present and with pride I can say that we have been able to in­tro­duce some sig­nif­i­cant in­ter­ven­tions in many ar­eas. When the dev­as­tat­ing Ker­ala Floods of 2018 left hun­dreds and thou­sands of peo­ple home­less, our Aster Vol­un­teers were the first re­spon­ders on the ground to pro­vide hu­man­i­tar­ian aid and med­i­cal sup­port, touch­ing more than 50,000 lives. To help these home­less fam­i­lies re­build their lives, we promised to build 250 Aster Homes and on March 1, 2020, in the pres­ence of Hon­ourable Chief Min­is­ter of Ker­ala Shri Pi­narayi Vi­jayan, we handed over the first 100 homes. The next phase of con­struc­tion is on­go­ing and we would be de­liv­er­ing the rest of the homes very soon.

Sim­i­larly, our dis­as­ter re­lief and aid pro­grammes in So­ma­lia, Jor­dan, Bangladesh, Ker­ala and Ma­ha­rash­tra has im­pacted 288,158 lives. Our free surg­eries and in­ves­ti­ga­tions have helped 35,440 peo­ple in need. Our

Aster Vol­un­teers Mo­bile Med­i­cal Ser­vices which is op­er­at­ing in In­dia and UAE has been able to im­pact 282, 254 peo­ple and we are launch­ing five new mo­bile med­i­cal ser­vice ve­hi­cles in Ethiopia, Oman and In­dia. Our child health and well­ness pro­gramme has 20,920 ben­e­fi­cia­ries. Till date, we have been able to im­pact 1.3 mil­lion lives and around 27,400 vol­un­teers are now a part of our pro­gramme.

Be­ing dif­fer­ently abled should not be a hin­drance in the path of any­one’s dreams, goals and suc­cess. I be­lieve that ev­ery in­di­vid­ual who has a pas­sion for achiev­ing their dreams and do not shy away from hard work should be given a plat­form and op­por­tu­nity with zero dis­crim­i­na­tion or prej­u­dice. With this thought, we have given op­por­tu­ni­ties to 110 peo­ple of de­ter­mi­na­tion to join us in dif­fer­ent ca­pac­i­ties across our or­gan­i­sa­tion. Fur­ther­more, we are think­ing of in­tro­duc­ing a ca­pa­bil­ity build­ing or train­ing pro­gramme for peo­ple of de­ter­mi­na­tion to make them el­i­gi­ble for em­ploy­ment.

We have made con­tin­u­ous ef­forts in the past to serve peo­ple and pro­vide the less for­tu­nate with the same care, sup­port and op­por­tu­ni­ties as ev­ery­one else and we aim to strive for much more in the fu­ture and help the world grow sus­tain­ably. Com­pa­nies across ev­ery sec­tor have the op­por­tu­nity to give back and ad­dress ma­jor is­sues which are af­fect­ing the world to­day.

We, as busi­ness lead­ers, need to be more em­pa­thetic, kind, caring and go be­yond our bound­aries to help the peo­ple and planet for the world to move in a pos­i­tive di­rec­tion. Suc­cess is best achieved when we align our skill set, ca­pa­bil­i­ties, ideals and am­bi­tions to ful­fil the needs of the so­ci­ety and the planet we live in.

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