Corruption charges towards healthcare in India.
Keeping patients in the hospital longer than necessary and doing unnecessary investigations have become very common in order to meet the commercial needs of the hospital. Dr. Gautam Mistry, cardiologist in a corporate hospital in Kolkata left the hospital after seven years of service due to pressure from the management of the hospital. Healthcare in India has thus become out of reach for public.
Dr Rajendra Malose from Nashik, a general practitioner informed that a reference for angioplasty can earn a doctor Rs 30,000 to 40,000. A young doctor who joined recently asks as to why the CEO of the hospital questions him of his low conversion rate for OPD-operative as per the target(10-15%) instead of 40%.(Conversion rate means out of all patients seen by the doctor, how many are advised to undergo surgery or procedures. Rational doctors try to keep this rate low, but profit-driven hospitals try to maximize number of surgeries and procedures, even if they are unnecessary). Pharma companies are giving foreign tours and junkets to doctors in such healthcare departments. It happens under the pretext of medical study. Unfortunately, some doctors eagerly wait for the pharma company invitation for foreign tours -Dr HV Sardesai, physician from Pune.
Corporate hospitals only want doctors who can help them earn more money. As a result doctors who practice ethically cannot last there. I know of a hospital where if a patient is charged Rs 1.5 lakh, the doctor gets a mere Rs 15,000. 90% of the income goes to the corporate coffers. Corporate hospitals can advertise while individual doctors are not allowed -Dr Sanjay Gupte, Gynaecologist, Pune, ex-national president of the Federation of Obstetric and Gynaecological Societies of India (FOGSI). These are just a few of the shocking revelations by 78 doctors from small towns to every one of the mega cities who are critical of the growing commercialization of medical healthcare in India. The doctors range from general practitioners to super specialists in corporate hospitals.
These interviews that expose the corruption in private healthcare have been put together by SATHI (Support for Advocacy and Training to Health Initiatives), an NGO, to highlight the lack of regulation of the sector. A report based on these interviews titled, “Voices of Conscience from the Medical Profession: Revealing testimonies by rational doctors about the reality of private medical practice in India“ has been put together by Dr Arun Gadre, a doctor and writer with 20 years’ experience of working as a Gynaecologist in rural Maharashtra, and Abhay Shukla, convenor of SATHI.
The report will be released at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) on February 26 in a function to be attended by AIIMS director Dr MC Mishra and senior gastrointestinal surgeon Dr Samiran Nundy of Sir Ganga Ram Hospital. Healthcare in India has seen a steady rise, but such corruption within organization may lead to shorter lifespan for common man.