Indian Healthcare - Expectations from NAMO Government

Narendra Modi as new Indian PMNarendra Modi led BJP is about to assume office at New Delhi. Every sector is looking with great hope from the new government. What are the expectations of the Healthcare sector from this government and specially Narendra Modi

The new prime minister is going to assume office on 26th of May 2014. Work must have already begun on key policy initiatives of the new government. The first official vision of the government will be seen through the budget which is likely to be presented in the month of July. The healthcare industry in India is reeling under low budgetary allocation and the rampant corruption in the field of public health. Since health is a state subject not much can be expected from the Union government in this field. The government hospitals will continue to be in poor health with bad working conditions, lack of equipments, medicines and manpower. The doctors will still be missing and the poor patients will continue to suffer. Do not expect any miracles from the government in this field unless the message of voter rejection due to non performance seeps into the state governments.

The private healthcare in India is booming for the last couple of decades and with little help from the government it can achieve dizzying heights. The health insurance sector is struggling in the country with the insurance companies, third party administrators and the hospitals at loggerheads with each other. The initiative has to come from the government for standardization of the rates which are suitable to the hospitals deploying costly equipments as well as the insurance companies. The CGHS kind of rates should be thrown into the dustbin as even the medium sized hospitals cannot function at those rates and the end result is malpractices being followed to make the ends meet.

Medical tourism is the new buzz word for the corporate hospitals and is bringing good number of patients to India earning dollars for the country. The role of the government in supporting this segment has been negligible. Today India gets patients mainly from Iraq and some countries of the African continent primarily due to the efforts of the Indian hospitals. Marketing of the country is the job of the government and efforts should be made to popularize Indian healthcare in more countries. The Medical visa should be given on arrival to more and more countries so that travel to India becomes easier. The condition of FRRO registration should be waived for people travelling to India for medical treatment or atleast it should be made hasslefree. The medical tourism business is controlled by touts which will ultimately ruin the industry and give a bad name to Indian Healthcare. The government should come out with proper guidelines and regulation of the industry is needed for organized and systematic growth. The medical tourism companies definitely have a role in the expansion of the industry but a level playing field with transparency needs to be created. 

The hospitals on their part need to publish their rates and should also be asked to keep a record for mortality and morbidity for each procedure. The practice of mentioning the average cost for each procedure at the hospital, complication rates and cost overruns will take the industry to a new level inspiring confidence amongst the prospective patients willing to travel to India. In order to achieve all this the healthcare industry needs to have a national representative body to put forward their demands to the government. Until that happens we cannot expect the government to take any initiatives inspite of several doctors from the private healthcare sector managing to reach the Indian parliament.



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