Dr Aniruddha Malpani wrote in from India with this:
We feel health libraries can serve as catalysts to
empowering patients with information in developing
countries, and the HELP model could be replicated in most
parts of the world.
HELP - the Health Education Library for People, India\'s
first Consumer Health Education Resource Center , and one
of the world’s largest consumer health libraries ( as
determined by the Medical Library Association , USA ) was
established in 1997 to empower people by providing them with
the information they need to promote their health , and
prevent and treat medical problems in the family in
partnership with their doctor. We are a registered
charitable trust and a non-profit organisation. HELP has
become a prototype of the modern digital library. Our
website at www.healthlibrary.com is India’s leading health portal, and receives over half
a million hits.We offer the following facilities:
1. Airconditioned reading rooms, with a seating capacity
for 20-25 persons
2. An upto date collection of over 5000 consumer health
books, 10000 pamphlets, and many magazines and newsletters
3. Audiovisual educational media, including over 600 video
tapes. Videos can be viewed in privacy in the library
4. Computer software , including over 30 CD-ROMs on all
health and medical topics
5. Photocopying facilities, at Re 1 per page
We have access to information on every health and
medical topic under the sun - explained in terms
which the layperson can understand. We have an
Internet connection so that we can provide
information on the latest medical research from all over
HELP has become a prototype of the modern digital library.
Our website at http://www.healthlibrary.com
is India’s leading health
portal, and receives over half a million hits per month !
We have many full-text health books and magazines in our
Reading Room on the Web , so that people can read them free
! This allows us to extend our outreach services, by
providing consumer health information to internet users from
all over the world !
We are a public library - everyone is welcome ! Entry to
HELP is free !
We are open Monday through Saturday, from 10 am to 7 pm. For
those unable to come personally to the library, we also
answer questions by post or e-mail. This is an
innovative service called MISS-HELP ( Medical Information
Search Services from HELP ) which allows us to provide
medical information to users from all over the world.
Dr Malpani was invited to London to present a paper on \"
Promoting Patient Choice - An International Perspective\" at
the King\'s Fund Conference held in UK in October 1997.
At present, all our materials are in English, and we
plan to translate our educational materials into regional
languages in the future.
What are our Goals ?
1. To create and provide access to a reliable and
upto-date collection of consumer health materials, so
that people can become better informed about their own
health. We believe that the best prescription is knowledge
2. To encourage a healthy doctor-patient relationship,
since the best patient is a well-informed one !
3. To provide resources which doctors can adapt to their
own practise, to use for educating their patients
4. To be a useful resource for writers and journalists ,
and thus improve the quality and accuracy of reporting for
medical topics in the lay press
5. To act as a stimulus for patients with a particular
disease to get together and form self-help support groups,
to help each other cope with their disease
6. To prevent health fraud and quackery by educating the
consumer about health and illness
7. Ultimately, we hope that well informed patients
will demand the best treatment available
internationally - and that this will act as an
incentive for doctors to update their skills, and for
hospitals to improve their facilities.
We also provide free internet training courses for doctors
to help them to learn to use the internet. We feel the
internet will change the way medical care is provided in the
future , and our free training courses help doctors to learn
this new tool to help them improve the care they provide to
their patients. We also offer doctors in India access to the
world’s largest online medical library, at www.mdconsult.com
. We also arrange to obtain the
full-text of any article from any medical journal in the
world, to help them remain upto date.
Dr Aniruddha Malpani, MD
Please visit our Internet website at
Bombay 400 036. India
INFORMATION IS THE BEST PRESCRIPTION !
World\'s Largest Consumer Health Library
Information is the Best Precription !
How to Get the Best Medical Care at