135th Day Of Lockdown

Maharashtra46826530552116476 Tamil Nadu2734602148154461 Andhra Pradesh1864611043541681 Karnataka151449746792804 Delhi1402321261164044 Uttar Pradesh104388605581857 West Bengal83800589621846 Telangana7095850814576 Gujarat65704485612529 Bihar6203140760349 Assam4816233429115 Rajasthan4667932832732 Haryana3779631226448 Odisha3768124483258 Madhya Pradesh3508225414912 Kerala279561629988 Jammu and Kashmir2239614856417 Punjab1901512491462 Jharkhand140705199129 Chhatisgarh10109761369 Uttarakhand8008484795 Goa7075511460 Tripura5520367528 Puducherry4147253758 Manipur301818147 Himachal Pradesh2879171013 Nagaland24056594 Arunachal Pradesh179011053 Chandigarh120671520 Meghalaya9173305 Sikkim7832971 Mizoram5022820
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