Home WORLD NEWS Profit driven corporatisation of healthcare system denies poor access to treatment: Chief Justice NV Ramana

Profit driven corporatisation of healthcare system denies poor access to treatment: Chief Justice NV Ramana

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NEW DELHI: Highlighting the “growing and unchecked” corporatisation of healthcare system in the country, Chief Justice of India NV

Ramana

on Tuesday said that the profit-driven approach of hospitals denies the poor access to healthcare and exorbitant cost charged by them forces people to suppress their health care needs and wellbeing.

While addressing doctors of

National Academy of Medical Sciences

(NAMS), the

CJI

also appealed to the governments to take measures to stop brian drain in the medical field as many doctors are shifting to foreign countries because of better facilities and working environment. Referring to various incidents of medical practitioners attacked and abused during pandemic, he said that doctors must be provided a safe environment and the governments must work on it.

“One trend that needs discussion is the growing and unchecked corporatisation of our healthcare system. Private hospitals are being opened at an exponential rate. This is not necessarily a bad thing, but there is a glaring need for balance. We are seeing hospitals being run like companies, where profit making is more important than service to society. Due to this, hospitals and doctors alike are desensitized towards the plight of patients. They are just numbers for them. This trend has also spread monopoly and is deepening the inequities in access to health care,” Justice Ramana said.

He said there has been a growing distrust in the common citizen towards doctors and hospitals and “hefty fees, chaotic experiences, and sub-par service has marred the relationship between doctors and the general public”.

“Especially in a country like India, where there is immense disparity in access to healthcare, doctors are accountable to the public. Exorbitant medical fees coupled with excessive barriers has made it almost impossible for the poor to get decent healthcare. It is primarily the cost of healthcare that is forcing people to suppress their health care needs and wellbeing. The heart-breaking fact is that, the crucial preventive stage is often lost when people suppress their health needs. They only approach the doctors when it is unmanageable and has crossed a certain threshold,” he said.

“During the pandemic I saw various instances where doctors had been threatened, abused, attacked, and shunned. Despite this, they continued working on the front lines. This negative response towards doctors is truly unfortunate. Several false cases are being lodged against upright and hardworking doctors. They need a better, and more secure, working environment. We must foster an environment where more young people want to become doctors to serve Indian society,” Justice Ramana said.

He said the government must look out for the welfare of its doctors and improve their working conditions and need of the hour is to bring in legislation to save people from falling prey to quacks

“Another side of lack of accessible healthcare, is giving space to quacks. Quackery begins where awareness ends. Where there is room for myths, there is room for quackery. Quackery is the biggest disease affecting India. Owing to the financial and time constraints, a huge majority of Indian population approaches these untrained and uncertified doctors. Lack of awareness and knowledge, misplaced belief, and sheer inaccessibility has massive ramifications on the health of the country, particularly the rural and under-privileged India,” he said.

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