SATHI

Project Theme

Health

Target Group

Women

Project Period

01 Apr 2014 - 31 May 2015

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Introduction

Today the private medical sector is riddled with many problems, unhealthy developments which have become an obstacle in making full use of the resources in the health sector efficiently, appropriately to reach the goal of ‘Health and Health Care for All’, to which Indian govt. committed itself in the renowned International conference in ‘Alma Ata’ in 1978. Social regulation and social accountability of the private health sector would help overcome these problems and sections of regulated private providers could help contribute to reaching the goal of ‘Health Care for All’.

Impact by partner
  1. Improved awareness regarding need for accountability and regulation of private healthcare providers among CSO activists across the country
  2. Active initiative by CSOs in at least two states to promote advocacy on regulation of private medical sector especially the Clinical Establishments Act (CEA)
  3. Maharashtra Government comes out with a draft CEA that takes care of interests of the patients, tables it in the assembly, passes it and start its effective implementation
  4. Central CEA is amended to include provisions for protection of patients’ rights

Case Study

“At the time of discharge when I received the bill, it was 3, 10,000(three lakh ten thousand rupees). No details were offered. I inquired and insisted for details. When I did get them I was startled to notice Rs. 1, 50,000 (one lakh fifty thousand rupees) charges against the name of that plastic surgeon. I rang him. He vehemently denied that he had asked the hospital to bill for that big amount. After all he had done nothing. His visit charges could not be more than Rs. 500. I protested angrily. The clerks at the reception were refusing to discuss anything as they were not empowered to give any concession. I reached the office of the CEO and shouted with all my lungs. He got the pulse of the anger. He asked me to wait for few minutes. He came out with revised bill minus charges against the Plastic surgeon. “Sorry, small clerical error!” he explained.“ Brother of an accident victim who was admitted to a corporate hospital in Nashik.

“I know some general practitioners who would tie up with a specialist pathologist to get false positive reports for blood sugar. It means that the person is not a diabetic. No. He is healthy like a gem. But the pathologist gives false blood report diagnosing him as a mild diabetic. Flagging the report and with serious face this GP starts mild anti diabetics for that health patient who is not diabetic. The result is obvious. The poor patient starts getting low sugar off and on; and starts fainting. This GP now earns of saline infusion in guise of treating that patients’ weakness. It’s a fact. Now a day, doctors over-diagnose or even falsely diagnose as the case above, chronic diseases like hypertension and diabetes. They are life long illnesses. Doctors earn by having them on the board for life long and also by prescribing latest medicines the pharmaceuticals are offering schemes for! We have come down – no, we have degenerated far beyond imagination!” A noted physician practicing in Mumbai.