July 14, 2024

Holistic Pulse

Healthcare is more important

Healthcare industry announces support for talks on standardising rates | Health News

2 min read

The healthcare industry announced its support for the Centre’s move to hold wider consultations with all stakeholders for determining standardised healthcare service rates.

The step to hold talks with all states and union territories (UTs) comes after the Supreme Court in February 2024 had directed the Centre to specify standard rates for private hospitals, in consultation with states. The apex court had also warned against applying Central Government Health Scheme (CGHS) rates for treatment services at private healthcare facilities until standardised rates are set.

In its response to the Supreme Court on Monday, the Centre said that the exercise to determine a standard rate would require consultations with all stakeholders including private players in the states and union territories, as a one-size-fits-all approach may not be feasible.

Highlighting the need to hold consultations on determining standard healthcare rates, Probal Ghoshal, chairman and director, Ujala Cygnus group of hospitals said that while cost transparency and affordability are crucial, it is important to consider the realities of operating in tier 2 and 3 cities along with metro cities for holistic understanding.

“Factors like lower patient volumes, talent acquisition challenges, and maintaining quality standards at a competitive cost need to be factored in. We believe a collaborative approach that acknowledges these regional variations will lead to a sustainable model for both healthcare providers and patients,” he added.

Many industry bodies too had become party to the case, urging the apex court to listen to their grievances as well.

Appearing for hospital industry body Nathealth-Hospital Federation of India, Harish Salve, senior advocate had submitted before the apex court that price fixation of medical services, for all hospitals, across India is not possible as no one size can fit all.

“There is no comparison between a government hospital which receives various subsidies from the government and private hospitals, who are not beneficiaries of any such subsidies. No other service industry in India is price capped as the same is not possible,” Salve added in his submission.

The Centre, in its response, also flagged that many states fear that fixation of rates may lead to serious issues like rendering healthcare setups financially unviable and render the healthcare sector uncompetitive considering the economic dynamics and interaction of market forces.

Speaking on the observations made in court yesterday, Abhay Soi, president, Nathealth said that the body appreciates the observation that standardising rates of treatment packages may have significant implications on the quality of healthcare services, patient safety, treatment outcomes, sustainability, and the continued investment required to meet unfulfilled infrastructure.

“The Government’s remarks also highlight these concerns,” he added.

First Published: Apr 30 2024 | 9:13 PM IST


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