Devastating fires are only one part of the management of private/corporate hospitals. Thanks to the self-promoting glitz and chutzpah surrounding them, they are, in fact, the blind spot of both the governments and the people, as regards accountability and transparency. Occasionally, someone somewhere who has been the victim of their blunders or exactions, bursts out in exasperation as, for instance, in the following blog by a distinguished professor:
“The corporate hospitals scare the life out of a patient as part of the milking process. Most of the drama of treatment that goes on is just to empty your pockets and to fill theirs….We've given them power they don't deserve and respect they haven't earned.”
Here is an extract from an article by Dr Sumanth C.Raman, published in The Hindu of January 15:
“….no one really knows if the quality of care in these hospitals is as good as claimed as there is simply no organisation or body, government or private, that is measuring it. Almost none of these ‘centres of excellence' are willing to publish their outcomes or put up the results they get (with the patient risk stratification) on their websites as is done abroad. Browse through many major hospital websites in the developed world and you can check for yourself what their risk adjusted mortality rates are, their readmission rates, their infection rates, their quality indicators and attainment percentages for specific conditions like a heart attack, stroke and the like, their patient safety indicators, etc. Almost none of our corporate hospitals provide this information. Many do not even have the systems in place to measure these.
“All we have to go by is the assertion by these hospitals themselves through the glitzy ads we see in the media with an emphasis on the certifications they have received….(from) JCI Certified (Joint Commission International) or NABH (National Accreditation Board for Hospitals).….However, what these quality organisations evaluate is predominantly the capability of these hospitals to deliver quality care and not the actual delivery of quality care…”
And I thought this was really amusing, in a fiendish sort of way:
I was actually present during the visit of JCI to a much hyped hospital for renewal of its accreditation. Normally, this hospital swarms with milling crowds making for unconscionable delays in attending to patients by doctors and the laboratory staff.
Just to dress it up for the JCI visit, the Chairman himself led his senior aides to drive the patients out and empty the corridors, so that everything looked swanky and picture-perfect.But I believe health tourism is doing wonders for these hospitals. So much so that practitioners are pressurised to take up the tourists on priority basis.
I always say - hand over everything to the private sector. They will always do the best job. Yes.