Public Healthcare sector crashing in India: Who is responsible?

Public healthcare is government’s prime responsibility and they are responsible to protect the rights of doctors as well as patients. But unfortunately we are not so lucky to have such governments since independence.

As citizens pay the tax, they expect good services from the government in return but we all know what kind of service we citizens are getting in government hospitals. Government is completely at failure for providing quality health services.

Fortunately to fill this gap private hospitals took lead and started doing wonders in health sector, obviously at certain cost. Patients have to pay hefty bills in order to enjoy good healthcare services.

The bills which are un-affordable by most of the people and even if a person recovers from physical illness, he is indebted to financials illness which leads to severe financial crisis for a family.

At this crucial juncture of our country, I think, Indian citizens really deserve the cutting edge technology, highly skilled doctors at affordable cost.

There are certain questions which still remained unanswered like why still India does not have structured insurance system for every Indian. Why whole family has to suffer when someone suddenly falls ill due to serious disease like heart attack or cancer. Where is the financial shock absorber?

We still lack grass root level education among countrymen and hence we are not matured enough to understand the disease and its consequences. The medical financial burden on a family leads to loss of trust in minds of attenders.

As a doctor myself and our fraternity knows the difficulties running a hospital in present situation. It’s becoming a costly affair to build, furnish, provision medical equipment and employing staff. Its long list which just doesn’t end here, you have to give competitive service, pay doctor referral amount, govt. taxes and political pressure and so on. We can easily conclude that running a hospital is no longer a white collar job!

Who will fix all these issues?

Instead of making government hospitals efficient and well equipped, govt. is projecting doctors as central villain. Doctors who are working in corporate hospitals are just employees and they get only 5% to 10% of the bill amount as their professional fees. The major component of bill consists of service and medicines cost in corporate hospitals.

Why we should take the blame as a doctor. Is it because we are the face of a hospital? This is the sin which we did not commit. You can observe this situation in metro cities.

Now let’s talk about small place like a village or taluka place, there are small clinics/hospitals run by a doctor or group of doctors who are providing excellent medical services with limited resources and skills that too in a very cost effective manner.

But here too doctors are demonized; many doctors running a clinic earn less than the medical store established beside their clinic.

We all know that generic medicines have huge margin which directly goes to pharmacist pocket. They buy the medicines on wholesale price and sell it at maximum retail price. Sometimes medicines are sold at 5 times more than the wholesale price. But no pharmacist is blamed or demonized by society and eventually blame goes to the doctor!

My point is why We as a Doctor be portrayed as demons and why we should be blamed for the higher medical cost charged by the pharmaceutical companies and implant companies?

Let’s come forward and dissociate ourselves from Materialistic demons and practice as light bearers of the Hippocratic Oath.

(The author is Consultant Physician & Clinical Cardiologist MBBS (MRCP UK Internal Medicine) DIP CARDIOLOGY in Hyderabad)