23 July 2018 - Blog

Corruption - A big bane in health industry

Corruption - A big bane in health industry

Healthcare is becoming the most glaring example for corruption all over the world, especially in developing and transitional economies where public resources are less and people are not educated , Instead of offering good health, it is leading to more human sufferings and worsening of diseases.

Fraudulent billings, inflated diagnosis, doctor’s partnership with company hospitals for giving kickbacks for referrals are few areas where corruption is building its wall in health industry. With strong nexus between the doctors, hospitals, pharmaceutical companies and medical equipment companies, the patients are over prescribed medicines and tests, charged overtly for procedures that might not be required, thereby complicating their treatment and adding more agony to their health.

Not only this, there have been incidences where, due to declining health insurance reimbursements, more doctors, regardless of their specialty are promoting cosmetic procedures which are more of out of pocket procedures and not covered by any insurances. Few such examples include that of liposuction, botox injection and breast augmentation. Today, botox injection, given for reducing wrinkles, is administered by any doctor from any specialty. Doctors have started to perform this procedure forgetting their actual specialty just to earn that extra which is not their piece of meal.

Suggested by Samiran Nundy, a senior doctor with Sir Ganga Ram Hospital in Delhi. “There is a need for collective will and it has to be backed with transparency in the system,” he says , which seems difficult with seeing current government policies , under the table payment for Statuary licenses and others . Policy makers have never addressed the issue of corruption in totality . Instead, every time a scam is exposed, the government announces new steps, which seldom get implemented. A good example of the lack of collective will in reforming institutions is the Medical Council of India (MCI), which was embroiled in a scam in 2010. The statutory body was set up to “establish and maintain high standards of medical education and recognition of medical qualifications in India”. But its former president Ketan Desai was arrested for accepting bribe of Rs 2 crore from GyanSagar Medical College in Patiala. As a knee-jerk reaction, the government dissolved the body while announcing in Parliament that it will bring in reforms. Corruption cases have surfaced in almost every government health scheme and almost in every State .

The worst part is Medical System is Not Structured or Streamline , Specially the patients faces problem in Tier C & Tier B Cities , where BAMS / BHMS docs are writing prescriptions who don’t about antibiotics , CT & MRI is managed by Trained staffs rather than Qualified Staffs , Pathologist is checking & signing the Microbiology Test and Physicians are performing Imaging .

With all these corrupt practices, it is directly reducing the resources available for health, deteriorating the quality of treatment, reducing the effectiveness of the health care services and loosing the trust of people on healthcare professionals.

The Solutions

  • Policy should be Rigid and Strict
  • State Govt should assign State Co-ordinator to Inspect & submit the report
  • MCI should come with more rigid Laws with implementation
  • MCI should also Appoints State Councellor / City Councellor to avoid the Mal Practicing
  • NABH / NABL & JCI and Government must have a policy on Pricing to avoid Overcharging .
  • No Compensation / indemnification to Medical Feternity .
  • Pharma People should be strictly banned .

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