The hospital services industry is expected to be worth $81.2 billion by 2015 in the country. The organised sector in the State is growing at around 10 per cent with active research happening in wide variety of fields.
However, the growing concern is that the hospital services are not at par to the growth of population. There is lack of human resource (doctors) in the country. According to the world health statistics report in 2010, the country has only 6.13 lakh physicians against a requirement of 13.3 lakh. Even with the country producing around 30,000 doctors every year, there is disproportion in supply due to brain drain problem.
“Practising medicine has become just like any other profession. The doctors are leaving for various countries for better career prospects and growth opportunities. However, the government is not looking at the core issues and cribs that doctors are leaving the country. The government has to create a healthy environment for them to stay back,”said Dr K Shashidhar, managing director, Kamineni Hospitals.
The country does not even have a doctor per thousand people. It has around six doctors for 10,000 people. The doctors and hospitals are not evenly spread out according to the population. When a group of hospitals, mushroom at one place, definitely there would be dearth of patients results in to unethical practices of hospitals for their survival.
It is very important for the government to give permissions for the new hospitals, in the locations, where is a need for it. This will not only curb the unethical practices but also helps the larger sections of people to get accesses medical services, he said.
Talking about regulations and heavy taxation, Shashidhar said, There are 40 statutory regulations need to be met before opening up a hospital. The permission taking process has to be made simple for the growth of industry. There is also a need of renewing some permissions every year resulting in official and unofficial costs.
It is also becoming burden on the hospitals to provide low cost health services under Aryogyasri Scheme. Initially, the hospitals offered introductory prices but the government is stick to it after years. However, the hospitals could not manage to provide the best services with ever raising input costs and wages. This may force some of the hospitals to compromise on the quality by using second grade equipment in providing health services. Even taxation is so high; every hospital is paying from Rs.50- 250 per day as a tax depending on the size of the hospital.
Medicines and equipment take majority of the hospital costs. There are huge number of drugs with little variations, which are let in to the industry and at times without the need. The generic drug costs lesser but with the variation, the price of the drug increases resulting in heavy price burden on the patients. The council has to first check the need of the drug before releasing in to the market. These pharmaceutical companies corrupt the doctors to push the product resulting in heavy costs to the patients, said Shashidhar.