Corporate hospitals object to Karnataka Private Medical Establishments (Amendment) Bill 2017 as it is unviable & one-sided
Corporate healthcare providers have come down heavily on the Karnataka’s move to table the Karnataka Private Medical Establishments (Amendment) Bill 2017 which is set to keep tabs on the violations and carelessness by the medical fraternity.
While doctors are now pressing the government to take a relook into the Amendment Bill 2017, the government’s move has been to protect its patients accessing the private medical centres. The medical fraternity across corporate hospitals view the bill as one sided and with support only for patients and not for the physicians.
The state government had formed a committee chaired by former chief justice of Karnataka High Court Vikramajit Sen which recommended that there cannot be two sets of rules for private and government hospitals.
Being a part of the Sen Committee, Dr Alex Thomas Executive Director, Association of Health Care Providers of India, said although this panel of experts met many times over the last few months, the final report of the Committee is very different from what has been tabled now.
“We do not think this is good for the healthcare sector. Smaller hospitals and mission hospitals will find it very difficult to survive if this bill is passed. The common man will ultimately suffer”, noted Dr. Thomas.
According to Dr. Nandakumar Jairam, CEO, Chairman and Group Medical Director, Columbia Asia Hospitals, the Karnataka Private Medical Establishments (Amendment) Bill-2017", where the government has proposed private hospitals to regulate the cost of treatments, its initiative to fix prices is unfortunate. Corporate healthcare can be a successful model only if the return on investments allows investors the confidence to put in their money into this very important sector.
“Further, it is unfair to single out private healthcare and not the government sector. We all realise that such controls do not exist in any of the other service sectors and one wonders why this partiality. Having said this, I would totally agree and accept that everyone needs to ensure that the quality of treatment is assured and that the patient or customer is given value for the amount paid”, noted Dr. Jairam.
“There are certain parts of the bill that are in the interest of people. Treating emergencies without payment is a good move but fixing the price of a procedure/ treatment should be done with only mutual consensus and is debatable. While patients should not be exploited but arbitrary fixing of prices is not a good thing for the healthcare industry”, Dr. Sudarshan Ballal, Chairman , Manipal Hospitals
“We are yet to get a clarity from the Government on what kind of pricing they are considering. Pricing for various procedures depends on the infrastructure and facilities. Capping will impair the growth of healthcare sector in the state. Rates cannot be fixed as individual’s line of treatment is different and individual response is also different,” pointed out Dr. Ballal.