State of Private Healthcare

State Private Healthcare


  • GS Mains paper II
  • Polity and governance, Private healthcare regulations.



  • A reknowned private hospital in New Delhi handed over a dead infant who was thereafter discovered to be still alive.


Regulatory framework in the states:

  • The union health ministry has written to all States asking them to adopt its 2010 framework, which many have not till now.
  • West Bengal has instituted a regulatory commission.
  • Karnataka has amended and strengthened its 2007 regulation.
  • However, the doctors are expressing their agony against the Rules. In Karnataka, the doctors organised public protests and changes were made in the final legislation removing the provision for imprisonment as a punishment.
  • There is something wrong when costly private healthcare becomes the flavour of the season for investment in a poor country where public health service is totally inadequate.


Where the money is going?

  • The corporate hospitals claim that they are just being able to earn 10% of the capital investment made in the hospitals.
  • If this is the case, then where the money is going?
  • The income tax department has indicated that there is a widespread nexus that exists between the doctor on the one side and clinical laboratories and chemists on the other.
  • E.g. the doctors get a referral fee of 35 per cent for MRI tests and 20 per cent for CT scans and other diagnostic tests.
  • Thus the need of the hour is the “regulation of private healthcare”. Because private sector healthcare has greater role to play in a country where Public sector healthcare facilities are limited.
  • E.g. a few months ago, the National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority (NPPA) imposed price ceilings on stents and knee replacements which brought down their costs to patients by over half.


Impediments to healthcare regulation:

  • The regulation framing procedure in India is very slow.
  • In India, there is a tendency of formation of rent-seeking regulation.


What should be done?

  • An independent and high-powered regulatory body: The regulatory body has to be high-powered, politically independent and represent all sections of stakeholders, particularly patients and NGOs active in the field.
  • Transparency: The regulator should insist on transparency — hospitals clearly publicising their rates for standard treatments and procedures.
  • The rates of various services should be mandatorily placed in the hospitals:Also, if the government is controlling the prices of essential medicines through the National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority, then there should also be control over the exorbitantly priced diagnostic services.
  • Health Insurance Schemes: The government should come up with better Health Insurance services. It should also push the private sector to come up with non-fussy health Insurance packages.
  • Checking commissions of the doctors: Doctors are the anchors of the healthcare system and most societies hold doctors in high esteem. Conversely, unethical practices cannot be widespread without the active participation of doctors. The foremost job of regulators is to ensure that doctors are not paid commissions for referring patients to diagnostic centres or bringing them to hospitals.
  • Redefining the Code of Ethics of Medical Council of India:The code of ethics of the Medical Council of India for professionals disallows this but it seems a dead letter.


State Private Healthcare

State Private Healthcare

State Private Healthcare

State Private Healthcare

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