Capping hospital profits cannot help patients

Capping hospital profits cannot help patients

The Delhi government reportedly plans to cap the profits of hospitals, in a bid to make healthcare more affordable(सस्ती) The move is ill-conceived(कल्पना/विचार करना), both in itself and in its potential to inspire(प्ररेरित करना) imitation(अनुकरण) in other states, creating a nationwide mess. Of course, healthcare has to be made more affordable than it is today. And yes, unethical practices in hospitals must be rooted out through intrusive(दखल) regulation(अधिनियम/नियम), if self-regulation does not work. But the process must be informed by knowledge and intelligence, not by a desire to score brownie points.The surest and most practical way to make healthcare affordable is to pre-pay healthcare costs from pools of payments, fortified(दृढ़) by measures such as bulk purchase of drugs and other healthcare inputs and by policy that makes land, which can account for as much as 60% of a hospital’s capital costs, far less expensive(महंगा/बहुमूल्य) than it is in most towns. In India, the government spends 1% of GDP on healthcare, one of the lowest figures for any part of the world. Most payments are out of pocket.

This is a recipe(विधि/नुस्खा) for pushing people into poverty and/or denying the poor healthcare. Pooled pre-payment can be achieved(हासिल) in several ways. A state-run healthcare system, as in Britain and Canada, is one. Mandating everyone to buy health insurance is another, the younger, healthier folk enrolled cross-subsidising the old and the ailing(अस्वस्थ/बीमार), and the state paying for the poor. Even better is a system of accountable care, in which healthcare providers take on the responsibility of keeping healthy or, failing that, treating a given patient population, in return for a per capita fee, calculated on the basis of actuarial principles. In this system, the care provider has no incentive(प्रोत्साहन) to inflate(बढ़ाने के लिए) treatment costs or prescribe(आज्ञा देना/निर्धारित करना) unnecessary investigations, procedures or medication. Hospitals do not have flattering(प्रशंसापूर्ण) operating profits. Capping them will not make care more affordable. Hospitals must stop recovering their high capital costs per bed via inflated(उपभोग्य) consumable prices(कीमतों में वृद्धि हुई). Where hospitals need some tough love is on mandatory reporting of clinical(रोगविषयक/लाक्षणिक) inputs and outcomes.

Important Vocabulary

1.Inspire(प्ररेरित करना)
Synonyms: affect, animate, arouse, cause, embolden
Antonyms: bore, calm,, deaden, depress, discourage

Synonyms: invasive, nosy, forward, interfering, meddlesome

Synonyms: method, prescription, program, technique, compound
Antonyms: ingredient

4.Prescribe(आज्ञा देना/निर्धारित करना)
Synonyms: define, determine, dictate, establish, impose
Antonyms: confuse, disallow, disorganize, leave, misguide

Synonyms: complimentary, favorable

6. Ailing(अस्वस्थ/बीमार),
Synonymns: diseased, feeble, ill, sickly, weak, debilitated
Antonyms: able, fit, healthy, hearty, sound


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