Thursday, March 14, 2013

health "care".. who cares?

Recent health report released from Indian govt. has some statistics which are disturbing.. 
-->Hospitalized Indians spend on an average 58% of their total annual expenditure
-->Over 40% of hospitalized Indians borrow heavily or sell assets to cover expenses
-->Over 25% of hospitalized Indians fall below poverty line because of hospital expenses
but, the report also says that 
-->Only 10% Indians have some form of health insurance, mostly inadequate
Find the complete report here 

According to a survey done in 2011, the medical bills are more than the rate of inflation.

Doesn't Indian Government realize that Insurance is the biggest form of looting public and making them dependent on the premium based services.. 

The Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) had pointed out in a recent report that private hospitals were charging higher rates from patients with mediclaim policies compared with those who did not have any health insurance cover for the same treatment.
Some insurance providers have even taken off the cashless treatment policy due to inflated billing and extended stay at hospitals done for sake of insurance. Read one of the report here 
I am sure that many folks like me, would like to avoid declaring to the hospital authorities about insurance coverage since it would lead to higher/inflated bills. 

The private hospitals are making a loot year after year to please the share holders and ensure that their footprints keep expanding.. 

Lets take a look at the largest 2 companies under the medical services sector. 

Fortis Healthcare profit and loss graph

Apollo Hospital Enterprises P&L graph

Check the steep increase in the profits!! 

If you check out the Medical council website, you will be shocked to see the scale of deposits expected for starting a medical college. 

Bank deposit to provide infrastructure

The medical college/institution provides a bank guarantee in favour of the Medical Council of India from a Scheduled Commercial Bank for providing additional infrastructural facilities for each discipline as follows:
PG degree - Rs. 85 lakhs
PG diploma - Rs. 64 lakhs
Higher Specialties - Rs. 128 lakhs

No wonder that these colleges later  sell (loot) the seats to aspiring doctors at such high inflated prices to cover the legal fees and other unaccounted expenses. 
The doctor's would over-charge the patients to pay their loans and the vicious cycle continues. 

When there is pricing control authority for Drugs, why there is no price control for hospital services? 

If government is committed to increase the reach and make health care affordable, then it has to open more govt. centers, reduce deposits to start private medical colleges and if needed, come out with its own insurance schemes.. 

1 comment:

ಅವಿನಾಶ ಕನ್ನಮ್ಮನವರ said...

Good,, I watched Michael Moore's documentary "Sicko" on health care in US, and was thinking the same for india, in his conclusions he shows us countries like UK and how they have made Health care policies by taking it under Government,
all we need is to pay a yearly amount while filling the tax, Govt will cover all the health related issues from common cold to the Cancer. In time of child birth the mother can walk into any hospital and can have baby in hospital and walk out araamse without paying a single rupee, The moderated policy of this is applied in Karnatak (as yashswni)but in this some % of money should be paid by the Diseased and you should be below poverty line to apply for this (not helpful for middle class ), we have to apply policies of UK and should make sure every one gets covered in the same.