Introduce transparency in hospitals: Noida citizens’ body to JP Nadda
Noida-based Indian Citizen Council (ICC) has written to the Union health minister asking for hospitals to inform patients beforehand about the cost of each facilitynoida Updated: Feb 25, 2017 22:32 IST
In an effort to introduce transparency in government and private hospitals, Noida-based Indian Citizen Council (ICC) has appealed for hospitals to inform patients beforehand about the cost of each facility, treatment procedure and practitioner’s fee.
In a letter addressed to Jagat Prakash Nadda, Union health minister, the council has asked the government to direct hospitals to make public all information about the cost involved in tests and treatment procedures, facilities available and fees of every practitioner.
“These days, due to lack of information and clarity, certain private hospitals charge exorbitant amounts from the patients. Even after charging the patient, he/she is not given exact details of the treatment,” Prashant Tyagi, general secretary, ICC, said in the letter.
Similar to dining at a restaurant where customers get a menu card, the council has advocated for a rate card to be shown to patients when they are admitted in a hospital. According to the council, this measure should be introduced as private hospitals charge exorbitant amounts from patients.
“The hospitals should provide a printed booklet to patients describing the cost involved in each test, treatment procedure, major and minor surgery,” said PS Jain, president, ICC.
“The hospitals should also inform patients about the number of beds in their campus and separate costs for general ward, ICU and deluxe/luxury beds. There should be complete transparency,” he added.
The letter to Nadda comes in the wake of the Union government putting a cap on the cost involved in stent procedures regarding heart surgeries. In June 2016, the Union government had added two categories of stents under the National List of Essential Medicines (NLEM), thereby heavily reducing the price of stent procedures. Earlier, the price of drug eluting stents ranged from Rs23,000 to Rs1,50,000 in private hospitals compared to the average cost of Rs 60,000 incurred in government hospitals.
“The government had introduced capping of the stent cost under NLEM, but it is high time that it starts implementing it strictly,” said Jain.
The council has also suggested providing patients the choice whether to buy medicines from the hospital’s chemist or from somewhere else.
“Usually, hospital-based chemists charge 30-40% above the market price of medicines, which is unethical. The patients must have the liberty to choose whether they wish to buy medicines from the hospital or from the market,” said Tyagi.