Mumbai: A viral video has claimed that most of the private hospitals in Mumbai perform unwanted surgeries and other treatments which are not required. A man can be heard in the video saying that the procedures are being conducted for profiting hospitals. According to the video, unnecessary tests are performed to attain the targets needed to ensure the return on the purchase of costly equipment.
However, officials from private hospitals refuted the allegation stating it’s an old video and an attempt to defame doctors and hospitals.
A man in a video alleged, “Around 55% cardiac surgeries or stent procedures are being advised by the doctors which are not required in actual. Similarly, 48% of patients are asked to undergo total knee replacement, 48% for hysterectomy, 47% for cancer surgery, and 45% for infertility treatment. Although none of them are required such treatments.”
Dr Parthiv Sanghvi, former secretary, of the Indian Medical Association said that such videos raise questions about healthcare systems due to which citizens lose their trust in hospitals and doctors.
The impacts of healthcare corporatisation
In 2019, an online journal, BMJ Global Health published an article ‘The impacts of the corporatisation of healthcare on medical practice and professionals in Maharashtra, India’, which revealed that ongoing professionalisation within the private medical sector encompassing changes in employment relations through the advent of corporate hospitals, personal indebtedness, performance targets and constraints placed on professional autonomy and accompanied by trends in cost inflation, medical malpractice and distrust in doctor-patient relationships.
“Unnecessary tests are performed to attain the targets needed to ensure the return on the purchase of costly equipment: ‘Because of targets, machines require 1,000 patients or investigations per month. It definitely involves a lot of unnecessary investigations. This situation is compounded by growing use of private insurance to pay for healthcare and attitudes that see this insurance as legitimising irrational provision of care,” read the study.
Working culture of Pvt hospitals differs
A senior health official from the state health department said the working culture of private hospitals is totally different as it makes feel patients that they are in five or seven-star hotels for which they have to shell out money in lakhs. He said the treatment at private is the same as government hospitals.
“All the hospitals have only one aim of treating patients but some of the private hospitals set targets which have to be completed by the hospital doctors. The doctors prescribe unwanted tests and other treatments to achieve the target,” he said.