Washington D.C, Sept 4 (ANI): A new study has revealed about the unethical targets in private hospitals in India.
Many doctors working in India’s private hospitals are under pressure to carry out unnecessary tests and procedures to meet revenue targets, according to the study.
In a special report, Meera Kay, a journalist in Bangalore, asks what can be done about financial targets for doctors working in profit driven hospitals that lead to expensive but unnecessary tests and surgery that also come with risk of harm.
According to Dr. Gautam Mistry, a cardiologist in Kolkata, such unethical practices are widely known about in medical circles but public discourse has been lacking.
He added that the doctors, who face pressure from hospital management to overprescribe surgeries or investigations, fear for their livelihood and also they need to practise for a certain number of years, and by complaining they would be jeopardizing their career.
SATHI (Support for Advocacy and Training to Health Initiatives), a non-governmental organization based in Pune, has for the first time documented the problem.
Its recent report, Voices of Conscience from the Medical Profession, comprised interviews by the gynaecologist Arun Gardre with 78 doctors throughout India.
Gadre told that India has seen a rise in multispeciality hospitals in India and in the race to earn higher profits, conscience takes a back seat, and doctors are encouraged to indulge in unethical practice.
However, some doctors disagree about the ubiquity of financial targets for doctors, including Dr Devi Shetty, chairman of the Narayana Health Group that runs 32 hospitals for profit in 20 locations in India and abroad.
He argues that setting financial goals for a doctor is not a common practice in India, adding that Narayana’s hospitals set performance targets to raise efficiency.
The study appears in journal The BMJ. (ANI)