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Old 20th October 2009, 19:28   #1
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Default Indian health system going highly unaffordable

The Hindu : News / National : Indian health system going the costly US way: Pitroda

National Knowledge Commission chief Sam Pitroda on Wednesday said that the Indian health system was going the “highly unaffordable American way” and suggested going back to roots to provide cheap healthcare benefits to those at the bottom of the social pyramid.
“India needs to find a new health model, we are drifting towards an increasingly expensive US model,” Pitroda, the principal advisor to the Prime Minister on Infrastructure, Innovation and Information, said.
“The way we are heading, we will not be able to meet the healthcare needs of the poor,” he said at a CII conference here.
Doctors true to their profession used to be considered next to God.
But can it be applied to the present day specimens? By and large they are highly commercialised and really not accountable atleast in India though there may be miniscule exceptions.
Gone are the days when even an experienced village doctor used to feel the pulse by holding the wrist and prescribed remedies that used to work - with minimal cost. Present day doctors hardly touch the patients and they hardly have time to just browse the umpteen tests the patients are made to undergo . Finally it comes to how good the doctor is able to analyse and interpret the test reports. Most of them are obliged also to the parmacitical industry to further their marketing interests after tasting their temptations such as foreign jaunts with family if not in monetary terms. In between the Health Insurance industry also buts in. So where does it leave the doctor? Next to God?

Agree with most of the above(Source).

Off late, treatments were taken up on affordability basis rather than need basis. Guys with insurance policies does not have problems as its gets paid out from the insurance companies. These high margin practices obviously have an impact on the way non-insurers were treated. Poor/Less affordable individuals or families gets impacted a lot. Also share, if you have any worst experiences on these lines. Where are we going wrong & what it actually requires to get away from it?

Last edited by Surprise : 20th October 2009 at 19:40.
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Old 20th October 2009, 19:38   #2
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These days, for the common man if you have medical insurance good, else you are doomed.!
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Old 20th October 2009, 19:46   #3
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Indian healthcare is going the American way. Its just a matter of time before it gets completely sold out to the Insurance companies.
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Old 20th October 2009, 19:50   #4
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another nail in the coffin of "finally we will return to india" plan

but seriously, when US is already debating it's healthcare system, It's better india learns from US' mistakes before its too late. with a profit based economy there are many evils that will follow. Being old and not able to afford medical care is one of the worst fears.
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Old 20th October 2009, 19:59   #5
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the worst is that if you are a Senior Citizen over 65 years of age there is NO INSURANCE company in India which will give you a policy - they simply decline to insure you.
Now in the absence of a Health Care system like NHS and Social Security etc, even after the poor Senior Citizen has paid his/ her taxes faithfully all his/ her life, how can people survive, given the prohibitive cost of health care these days?

Its ok for guys who are basically well off or well employed - but what happens to the less financially fortunate or less well-heeled? are they simply supposed to give up the ghost and pop off or what?

I think there should be a radical overhaul of the health care system in this country by making it more affordable for our elderly people - I would be happy for one, to pay an extra few percent tax, if the government would guarantee that our elderly people would be looked after properly.

I love my country but there are many things (like the above callous attitude to medical care for the elderly) that I hate about it too.
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Old 20th October 2009, 20:04   #6
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Default My story...

Here is my story,

My wife was to be admitted in a hospital for Delivery. After the very first appointment, we were asked to meet a medical counsellor. The so called medical counsellor showed us a tariff sheet(Menu card?) with the various room rates which goes on from 1800 to 8000 per day. She asked for the insurance limit we have and suggested the room we can afford within its limit. Me and my wife were like

We were not comfortable with that hospital and decided on a different hospital.As the hospital comes under the Insurance network, we were offered cashless hospitalization. The doctor informed that the baby is not in position for birth and told they will induce the pain. We were waiting eagerly through night and no labour pain started. Next day morning, a doctor came in the operation theatre costume(with masks, etc) and informed that since the bay is still not in position, we need to do a c-section and got the necessary signatures.Everything happened so fast that we believed them at that point. The delivery happened on Oct 8th. They informed that we can get discharged by sunday morning(11 oct). Sunday morning, when I enquired at the billing department, they informed that the insurance people dont approve any claims on sunday and hence we can't get discharged on sunday. When I raised the question, "What will you guys do during emergency on sundays?", the lady just gave a blank look and informed that they cannot started billing as the doctor has not written the discharge note. I went to meet the doctor, but the doctor was not in the hospital, only duty doctors were present. When I asked the duty doctor's to write the discharge note, they informed that only the chief doctor can write the same. So we waited whole sunday patiently and I came early to the hospital to start the discharge process on monday. Again the same answers, doctor isn't in and Insurance guys are yet to come. Finally Doctor arrive at 12 noon and I asked her to write the discharge note, she tole me "Even if I give you the note now, you wont be discharged before 6pm in the evening. By this time my father in law lost his temper and asked her to stop playing and sign the damn note and he will take over from there. After all this the doctor signed and the discharge process took 6 more irritating hours.

When I finally received the bill, following are the contents. They were not ready to give a breakup of these charges. My wife was hardly given any medications, except for IV. Then when I checked the insurance documents,5000 rupees claim was available eligible for Medicines.
Room charge - 15000
Surgeon fee - 20000
Operation theatre charge - 6500
Anaesthetic fee - 7000
Pharmacy - 5000

Insurance authorized 40000 and I paid the rest.Looks like the current medical system in India is already working like that in the USA. They always try to claim the maximum of our claim limit. This is one of the biggest and one of the most famous hospital in Hyderabad with three branches in the city.

Last edited by cruiser_1982 : 20th October 2009 at 20:07.
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Old 20th October 2009, 20:07   #7
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One of my friend's wife had a baby recently in Bangalore, they charged the max limit possible under insurance ( I think it was 50K limit ).
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Old 20th October 2009, 20:18   #8
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my experience.
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Old 20th October 2009, 20:18   #9
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they make you think "it's coming from insurance, why care". that's affordability.

What you shud be thinking "insurance is not a gift from god, eventually it's my money"

slightly OT, what sam pitroda said about affordability based purchases is true in all sectors now, not just healthcare. and once it sets in, a handful of us can just not stop it.
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Old 20th October 2009, 20:27   #10
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Simple Example:

My friend's wife delivers in Manipal Hospital, Bangalore: Total 1.5 lakhs. No C-Section, natural delivery. Stay of 6 days. 2 before and 4 after. Non-AC room, with monkeys (yes the real ones) walking outside the window.

My wife delivered 6 months before in Panaji, Goa: Total 17k. No C-Section, Natural Delivery, AC room, 8 days - 3 before delivery, 5 after delivery.

Both covered by insurance.

Last edited by Spitfire : 20th October 2009 at 20:29.
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Old 20th October 2009, 20:48   #11
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I think the govt should pay medical insurance for every tax payer in the country. (so that they stay healthy and continue to pay tax)
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Old 20th October 2009, 20:58   #12
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This was expected the moment private insurance players entered the market.
Costs in the west are high because of the higher amounts of insurance that docs and hospitals pay to protect themselves against legal liability (suit for damages/negligence).
It makes no sense here, as our docs and hospitals get away with even death cause by negligence, as our legal system takes a lifetime to settle disputes!
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Old 20th October 2009, 21:00   #13
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Originally Posted by cruiser_1982 View Post
Here is my story,
This is one of the biggest and one of the most famous hospital in Hyderabad with three branches in the city.
So, what is stopping you from naming it here???

If people come out with bad experience, the least you can do is name the place!! Unless you feel sharing is just to vent out your frustration and not to benefit anyone else!

Useless post where they end up with all these clues for people to test their investigation skills!!!
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Old 20th October 2009, 21:56   #14
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The cab driver on my way home from airport narrated his Sister's delivery cost with C-section. It was a government hospital and it cost them 25K. He said it could have taken close to 40 or 50K and they saved about 25K. There is a fixed amount that people have to pay to the doctor, the nurse etc., The medicines, OT supplies etc., have to be bought by the patient. Don't know what happens to the medicine that the govt incurs the cost for.
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Old 20th October 2009, 22:19   #15
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Have you ever watched the movie "SICKO". Its a must watch movie about Health Care system in USA.

There is only one place in earth an American citizen (or any other national)can get free medical care ! you know where ?

Its called Guantanamo Bay

Its a Must watch movie.
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