Over the years the participation of the private sector in healthcare has gradually increased. Critically examine the impact of increasing privatisation of healthcare in India. (10 marks)
- Introduce by showing increasing privatisation of healthcare sector
- Point out the benefits of increasing participation of the private sector in healthcare
- Point out the concerns in this regard
- Conclude appropriately
The increasing privatisation in healthcare means that share of private enterprises in healthcare services like hospitals, medical insurance etc. is gradually increasing over the time in India. National Health Policy 2017 and Niti Aayog advocates the PPP model in healthcare services. Over 70% of the people in India choose the private sector over public sector for healthcare services.
Benefits of increasing privatisation in healthcare:
- Big private players provide the much-needed investment in the healthcare sector. The government merely spends around 1.4% of the GDP whereas the private sector contributes around 3.3% of the GDP in the healthcare sector.
- Privatisation comes with better and advanced medical equipment, trained and qualified professionals and individualised care. This is a crucial area where the government institutions lack.
- The access to the treatment is quicker in case of private institutions i.e. less waiting hours and prompt services are offered.
Concerns of increasing privatisation in healthcare:
- Healthcare at private institutions has higher cost often up to four to six times more than its government counterpart. People are often subjected to unnecessary medical tests, surgeries and costly medicines.
- Lack of transparency in the functioning of private institutions is a key concern. There is also a lack of government regulations to regulate their actions and pricing mechanism.
- The trend of rapid privatisation of healthcare in terms of big hospitals and modern facilities is not witnessed in rural areas. People are forced to visit urban centres for treatment and at times this process fatal in case of emergency or chronic illness.
The participation of the private sector is essential but at the same time, crucial aspects like increasing the reach of institutionalised healthcare to underserved & unserved areas and boosting the coverage of medical insurance should be undertaken. Ayushman Bharat scheme is a welcome step in this regard.
Subjects : Social Justice