The problems faced by healthcare are similar, though a lot worse, to those faced in finance
The horrific tragedy of a young couple committing suicide as they could not save their only son from dengue has brought the role of corporate hospitals once more in the spotlight. The story is like this: a little boy contracted dengue and as his parents took him from hospital to hospital in south Delhi, he was refused a bed. By the time a hospital agreed to take him in, it was too late. He died. The distraught parents killed themselves in a suicide pact. The boy’s father had lamented that you need a ‘contact’ to get a hospital bed in Delhi. It is true. You need a ‘contact’ to get a bed in most private hospitals if you have a ‘low-earning’ medical condition. A knee replacement will earn the hospital upwards of 3 lakh for the 6-8 days it takes, while a dengue bed will earn a tenth for the same period. Doctors who work in such hospitals do confess privately that there are verbal instructions to refuse dengue patients or those who don’t ‘earn’ that well.