‘Trained manpower for small hospitals doesn’t exist in rural areas’

Given our involvement with healthcare through our friends and partners in India, we are sharing this article from Civil Society Online. The interview gives real insight into the challenges small hospitals face. 

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Privatised healthcare is increasingly seen in India as a good business to be in. Its success is measured in terms of the return on investment. With the government-run public hospital system having all but collapsed, private facilities are flooded with patients and they mostly pay a steep price for the care they get. These hospitals have the capital for expensive equipment and they advertise their five-star facilities as they do their handsomely paid doctors.

But what about private initiatives in the voluntary sector whose doctors and hospitals serve patients in remote parts of the country? With very little money and against great odds, they too bridge gaps that result from the lack of State-run healthcare. They have an old-fashioned commitment to the values of the medical profession and meet the needs of tens of thousands of people who would otherwise have nowhere else to go.

However, a regulatory framework being drafted by the Union government under the Clinical Establishment Act of 2010 would make it difficult for small rural hospitals in the voluntary sector to function, as its provisions seem to be suited only to large private hospitals.

Civil Society spoke to Dr Santosh Mathew, Executive Director of the Emmanuel Hospital Association, on the concerns over the new rules.