The Fortis GGN Fraud and K'TAKA MEDICAL REGULATION BILL: The Big Medicare Jizz

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The media took a frenzy over reporting the Fortis hospital, Gurgaon’s classic medical loot, where they charged INR 16 lakh towards expenses, and the patient a girl of 7 years died of dengue. The bill further shows the extra number of syringes, the medicines that were not needed and few more typographical or clerical errors as the bank would present them to be Akshay Kumar admits a dead man, and the hospital bills him towards the same.

Till this incident took the media’s attention, there have been many cases of the kind that areĀ  pending adjudication in the consumer forums across the country. The malpractices employed by private health institutions is not a new feature in the competitive and profiteering market. The incident became one of the logic defying moments for all of us believe.

The public health institutions have been cash starved for over years now. A considerable section of the society nowadays follows the trend or out of necessity avails the better ‘looking’ services of private medical practitioners and health institutions. It does not imply that all the private health institutions are offering malpractices on sale, yet the rising number of unrealistic prices and medical negligence cases coming to the courts, there is a considerable awareness about these.

There is another social legislation aimed to lower the prices of medical services provided by private players, and to regulate the private medical practitioners in Karnataka. The Karnataka Private Medical Establishments (Amendment) Act, 2017. This was a move aimed to put a greater level of diligence and skill in the doctors while they cater to the needs of the patients and minimise the risk of medical negligence. The doctors came out on the streets and instead told the state government to first focus on the public health amenities and their staff and then move to the private sector.

These incidents often point out to the mind twisting trend that we see across us, where healthcare institutions and practitioners are often charged with being too expensive and not providing proper medical services.

The case in Gurugram’s Fortis, highlights both the cases perfectly. While the young child passed away due to medical incapacity of the doctors, the hospital slapped a bill of exorbitant amount. These practices need to be regulated at the outset.

It is the state function, and the responsibility of the government to provide healthcare, while the private players and doctors assume these functions, the level of responsibility must be cast upon them with a greater magnitude as they also charge a good amount of money. The private medical institutions have made a routine practice to first spoil the line of treatment, while experimenting, and when things go out of hand, they refer the cases to a government hospital.

These issue assume significance in the ailing medical service sector in India, which leaves a good amount of people unattended, while those with good pockets risk their money and lives in the hands of greed driven private practitioners and establishments.

The doctors are famous for being rewarded by pharma companies if they prescribe their medicines which may not be needed by the patient, yet this discourse seems to have become a routine.

A legislation of the Parliament making it mandatory for the pharma companies to sell drugs only under generic names is also being resisted. The Central government must regulate the medical practices while lowering or rather balancing the costs of the medical bills of Indians that are inflating beyond levels.

The medical care needs to be pushed to levels so as to provide greater good to the people who need doctors. The regulative machinery must e made strict and speedy ensure justice to all the people who need health care.

There must be more effective legislation like the Karnataka bill, to give greater responsibility to private practitioners and health institutions.

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