Faith 'full' in govt hospitals

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Faith 'full' in govt hospitals

Days after the shocking story of sweepers and ward boys treating patients at a hospital surfaced and reflected the sorry state of healthcare in government run hospitals, there seems to be little change in the way these hospitals are run.

 The shocking incident came to light in Babu Banarsi Das District Hospital in Bulandshahr, Uttar Pradesh where a sweeper was videographed giving a young child stitches on his leg and a ward boy, was seen administering tetanus shots to another patient.

 While experts from within the industry feel that these may just be exceptions rather than the norm, there can be no denying that government hospitals in the City are also run rather shabbily. Yet, there seems to be no dearth of patients coming to them in droves. 

“Money is a huge factor that comes into play,” says a very senior gynaecologist who has worked both in the government and privater sectors. “Private hospitals are very expensive and even insurance claims are not what they are made out to be.

They are rarely served in time, and insurance companies do not cover a lot of diseases - like cardiac ailments, diabetes etc. There is a long list of clauses which make sure that the insurance company need not pay the claim. In government hospitals treatment is cheaper by comparison. Certain procedures may not be free but they can cost very less. That is a big reason why government hospitals are preferred.”   

Talking to Metrolife, Dr. Anjan Prakash, Assistant Medical Superintendent in Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital (RML) while condemning the Bulandshahr episode agrees that these practices should be stopped. “Once a patient comes to a hospital, he expects a qualified doctor or a professional to look after him. Patients have faith in the system and the ability of the doctors. These kinds of deviations cannot hamper reputations of government hospitals.”

As far as the patients are concerned, they do repose faith in them despite the shabby conditions. “Qualitatively, they compare with the best in the field. The doctors in government hospitals have patience and are more understanding. My father-in-law is admitted to RML because of a cardiac condition. We had taken him to a  private hospital but the response was unsatisfactory. Having brought him here I feel more satisfied,” says Debashish Ghosh, a businessman.
Another visitor to a government hospital Pranab Nag, says, “I prefer a government hospital over a private one because you get the same treatment for far less money, whereas in a private one you have to shell out a heavy amount of money, time and energy.”

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