Capping of Fees in Healthcare- A disaster waiting to happen!

  • Buy/ lease/ rent real estate
  • Build hospital infrastructure and buy high priced equipment.
  • Pay salaries of doctors, nurses, technicians, paramedics staff, administrative and clerical staff
  • Pay electricity/ water bills at commercial rates, AMC maintenance of medical equipment, insurance premiums,
  • Regulatory expenditures to maintain standards and get accreditations like NABH, NABL, JCI, etc
  • Buy consumables like sutures, surgical instruments, implants, drugs, medical supplies to be in inventory when the patients walk in.
  • Pay taxes just like any legitimate business.
  • To be cutting edge, they need to keep investing in future technology, research and hire people who are up to date with the latest in medical science and skill levels
  • Honest doctors and well intentioned hospitals will reduce services to the minimum sustainable. They will refuse to do any surgery that costs more than the government allows them to charge or ones too risky to attempt.
  • The unscrupulous among the medical professionals and hospitals will stop maintaining standards because that costs money. They will use the cheapest equipments, cheapest implants, low quality man-power and sometimes provide incomplete/no treatment so long as they eventually make profits. This will go unchecked because the unscrupulous have absolute monopoly and government hospitals are no better.
  • Private hospitals will eventually stop doing surgeries under government schemes because many smaller hospitals and practices will close down after the price cap as it becomes unsustainable to continue. Bigger hospitals and corporate hospitals will refuse government schemes as well since they will lose money on those surgeries and other revenue sources have dried up. Eventually the poor are at the mercy of the care of government hospitals- which if it is not apparent already, isn’t very awe-inspiring.
  • Many of the doctors and other medical professionals will either migrate out of the state/country or take up a job in another industry where the government does not cap the prices of the services or product.
  • None of the latest technology would reach India as foreign companies will have no market for their latest but expensive machines/implants. There wouldn’t be many doctors left in the state who would have any expertise in using the new technology either as they would all move to better pastures.
  • The medical tourism industry collapses on itself because the quality has dropped so much that no one cares for it anymore. The health indices of the state/country plummets drastically mirroring some west african country.

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Raghuraj Hegde

Raghuraj Hegde

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Consultant, Orbit, Ophthalmic Plastic Surgery and Ophthalmic Oncology Service, Manipal Hospitals, Bangalore