2017 saw a number of incidents putting hospitals in the spotlight. Raising questions over the quality of medical services in the country was the children deaths in Gorakhpur at a government hospital. With a license of a leading hospital revoked and allegations of overcharging against another, both in Delhi, private healthcare services too were under scrutiny. Let’s take a look at the areas in healthcare that may need focus in 2018.
Medical Specialists: Government hospitals have over 80 percent shortage of medical specialists. Back in 2011, a high-level expert chosen by the ministry of health estimated lack of 1,88,000 medical specialists. Currently, there are less than 20,000 medical specialists. The rise of corporate hospitals has shifted the interest of doctors from government hospitals and private clinics, despite the fact that most of them are trained in government hospitals or in the hospitals attached to the government medical colleges. The clinical outcomes of private hospitals will degrade if the quality of training goes down in government hospitals.
National Medical Commission: The creation of a National Medical Commission is another development needs to be watched because depending on the composition of the commission members, there could be huge implications for the sector.
Affordable Healthcare: Half of the country’s population cannot afford a heart surgery, which costs say around Rs 1.5 lakh and say theoretically you reduce this cost to Rs 40,000. The government should step in and improve its services and with its scale and size become the major healthcare providers of the nation. Addressing about 75 to 80 percent healthcare needs of the country, private healthcare providers do not give dividends and tend to plough back resources into technology and talent.