142nd Day Of Lockdown

Maharashtra54831338184318650 Tamil Nadu3145202563135278 Andhra Pradesh2641421709242378 Karnataka1964941126333511 Delhi1494601343184167 Uttar Pradesh140775887862280 West Bengal98459671202059 Telangana8647563074665 Bihar8274154139450 Gujarat71064542382652 Assam5883842326145 Rajasthan5249738235789 Odisha4592731785321 Haryana4163534781483 Madhya Pradesh3902529020996 Kerala3811424922127 Jammu and Kashmir2489717003472 Punjab2390315319586 Jharkhand185168998177 Chhatisgarh12148880996 Uttarakhand96326134125 Goa871259575 Tripura6161417641 Puducherry5382320187 Manipur3752204411 Himachal Pradesh3371218114 Nagaland30119738 Arunachal Pradesh223115923 Chandigarh1595100425 Meghalaya11154986 Sikkim9105101 Mizoram6203230
Opinion DC Comment 07 Jul 2020 DC Edit | The health ...

DC Edit | The healthcare dilemma

DECCAN CHRONICLE.
Published Jul 7, 2020, 5:42 pm IST
Updated Jul 7, 2020, 5:42 pm IST
If the government advice was so efficient, would it not use its own wisdom to achieve better results in its own healthcare establishments?
An Accredited Social Health Activists (ASHA) worker (L) checks the temperature of Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) municipal worker outside a containment zone in Hyderabad. PTI Photo
 An Accredited Social Health Activists (ASHA) worker (L) checks the temperature of Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) municipal worker outside a containment zone in Hyderabad. PTI Photo

A video recording of a lady government doctor, who was not discharged by a private hospital in the Old City of Hyderabad after she alleged that the bills were “exorbitant”, went viral, prompting the Telangana health department officials to “rescue” her.

The entire episode raises crucial questions over healthcare as an institution, an eco-system, a fundamental right, and over the yawning gap between want and availability, because with some variation, this story could have been of any Indian city or state.

 

Two stark realities face us – government hospitals are inefficient, corrupt and so unrealiable, so unworthy of trust, that most people including politicians, bureaucrats and even government doctors avoid it; even as private sector hospitals are seen as dishonest, commonly perceived as “businesses” which are compromised on ethics, where professionals use fear psychosis to force needless extensive testing and redundant expensive care.

Is it fair for people to expect the private sector to sell wares at prices fixed or overseen by the government? If the government was so efficient as to advise, would it not use its own wisdom to achieve better results in its own healthcare establishments? Should we be blind to a social faultline, where for so long we have accepted substandard public healthcare because only the very poor were using it? Has quality become an issue only after the private sector bills have become unaffordable even for middle classes?

 

Most customers in corporate hospitals complain of astronomical bills; common phraseology describes it as “extorting” and “bleeding”. Telangana Health Minister Etala Rajender gave a sermon on “profit-seeking” hospitals, never mind a transparent account of the public healthcare budgetary spends.

Do we risk killing the private sector medicine by stifling it with public control? Or should we indeed “tame the beast”. The answers will define our nation’s future. And we need them urgently.

...




ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT