‘Private hospitals must be accountable’
In a chat with Hindustan Times, Delhi Health Minister Kiran Walia says there is a need for a system to bring accountability in private hospitals. Healthcare is a state subject and we, as responsible leaders, have a role to perform for our masses.india Updated: Aug 21, 2009 01:44 IST
Do complaints of medical negligence in private hospitals come to you?
Yes, sometimes. But most complaints we receive are those of over pricing in private hospital.
Can the government do something about it?
Well, why not. There is a need for a system to bring accountability in private hospitals. Healthcare is a state subject and we, as responsible leaders, have a role to perform for our masses. When DDA gave out lands at subsidised rates to private hospitals there was an agreement that they would give 10 per cent free IPD treatment to the poor in return.
Don't most of the private hospitals disregard the deal?
Sadly, private hospitals are out there to make money and even charge the poor for consumables, which is wrong. Let alone the poor, even the middle class patients have to mortgage their land and other valuables for expensive treatments and procedures at private hospitals.
Is there is mechanism to nail such practices?
There is a need for more answerability. So far, we have teams that visit hospitals to get status updates for their treatment of poor but we are yet to work out a mechanism to nail them.
What is the hurdle?
All private hospitals have made their individual rules and methods of treating the poor. There is no uniformity even in terms of treatment costs. We need to bring about a system, where the same rule applies to all hospitals.
What is your immediate goal?
To improve tertiary and primary care in Delhi so that people don't have to go to private hospitals. We are
also working on public-partnership models in two of our super-specialty hospitals, whereby they are equipped to provide quality treatment to the masses.