December 9, 2017

INDIA: Family Of Baby Wrongly Declared 'Dead' By A Hospital In Delhi Speaks Out About Tragedy. Twins Were Declared Still Born Wrapped In Plastic Uncleaned And Given To Grieving Parents. 😦

International Business Times
written by Suman Varandani
Friday December 8, 2017

The father of a newborn wrongly declared "dead" by a hospital in Delhi, India, spoke out just two days after the baby died for real while receiving treatment. In an interview with BBC, Ashish Kumar remembered the morning of Nov. 30 when Max Hospital handed his twins in a plastic bag saying both the babies were stillborn.

"Max Hospital declared my little boy dead while he was struggling to survive," Kumar said. "He was wrapped in five layers of plastic. Nobody can survive without oxygen for that long."

Kumar said that the news about the death of his twins was "heartbreaking" and a massive shock came when "my father-in-law realized that one of the babies was moving inside the plastic bag."

Kumar's father Kailash, who saw the baby move, said: "They had put the twins together in one basket. They were not even cleaned. I can't stop thinking that my grandson who was alive, was kept for hours with my granddaughter, who was stillborn."

Kumar's mother Meena also spoke to BBC, saying: "He looked so beautiful - exactly like my daughter. I had a faint hope that he would survive. We were planning the traditional ceremonies to celebrate his birth. But he is gone and all I can now see is a void that will never be filled."

Kumar told BBC that a day before the twins were born, the hospital conducted an ultrasound and said that everything was fine, but later the hospital demanded a huge amount of money for keeping the newborns in a special unit for four days. Despite financial trouble, Kumar managed to arrange for the money.

"Any parent would do that to save their babies. But I am heartbroken and Varsha has been completely inconsolable. My entire family was so excited to welcome the children," Kumar said. "But they never came home. We never heard their cries. I have come to hate the silence in my house."

The tragic incident sparked outrage in the country and protests erupted outside the hospital. On Friday, the Delhi government canceled the license of the hospital after finding the medical institution guilty of negligence.

“We have canceled the license of Max Hospital, Shalimar Bagh. The negligence in the newborn death case was unacceptable,” Delhi health minister Satyendra Jain said at a press conference.


Okay, so after reading this article I was left curious as to what kind of health care system India has for the nation. I'm not surprised to find out that India has a Universal Health Care System in place and does offer free health care. They have Obamacare on steroids. As you can see Socialist healthcare ends with very unpleasant results like as we have seen with the US Medicaid system and the US Veterans Administration Hospitals. But, thank goodness President Trump has signed a VA Accountability Act into law in June 2017 that promises better care for our Veterans. I share more detailed information below. (emphasis mine)


Quartz News, India
written by Devjyot Ghoshal
April 18, 2016

Indians are visiting hospitals in higher numbers than at any time in the past—and visiting them more often.

What’s good for their health, though, isn’t necessarily good for their wallets, with healthcare costs rising exponentially in the last decade.

A decade ago, about 31 out of every 1,000 Indians in urban areas were hospitalised (excluding childbirth) every year, according to the National Sample Survey Office’s (NSSO) estimation in 2004.

In 2014, according to the latest NSSO report (pdf), 44 out of every 1,000 Indians end up getting hospitalised in a year.

The trend is similar in rural India, and represents the expansion of healthcare facilities—both public and private—and the population’s increasing ability to access such services.

Up to 42% of rural patients went to public hospitals in 2014, a number that has remained steady since 2004. In urban areas, however, there has been a decided shift towards private establishments.

Most of these hospitalisations are for infections, but a significant number also for treatment for cancer and blood-related diseases.

The increase in access to healthcare has also brought with it a massive spike in costs.

Between 2004 and 2014, for example, the average medical expenditure per hospitalisation for urban patients increased by about 176%. For rural patients, it jumped by a little over 160%.

During the same period, India’s GDP per capita, based on purchasing power parity (current international $), grew by 121%.

There is, however, substantial variation in the cost of healthcare across states, for both rural and urban areas.

Moreover, this ranking hasn’t remained static. The list below consists of the 10 most expensive states for hospitalisation in rural areas in 2004, which have subsequently seen costs grow by anywhere between 83% and 265% over the past 10 years.

Such spikes do no favours to India’s massive, uninsured population. Over 85% of Indians in rural areas and 82% of urban residents have no health expenditure support. “On the whole, the poorer households appear unaware or beyond the reach of such coverage, both in rural and urban areas,” the NSSO explained in its report (pdf).

That’s why the Narendra Modi government’s push for the National Health Protection Scheme, which provides a cover of Rs1 lakh per family, as a possible measure to fix India’s creaking healthcare system, makes sense. But given the incredible rise in costs in the last decade alone, Rs1 lakh for a family of four may not amount to much.


Deutsche Welle (DW)
written by Murali Krishnan, New Delhi
Wednesday November 22, 2017

Social media outrage over the hefty hospital bill charged to the family of a seven-year-old who died of dengue fever near Delhi has once again turned the spotlight on India's poor state of public healthcare infrastructure and private hospitals that slap their patients with excessively high rates.

Following the death of the patient, identified as Adya Singh, in September, the private corporate hospital Fortis Memorial Research Institute in Gurgaon, a Delhi suburb, slapped her family with a bill amounting to around 1.8 million rupees (€23,600, $25,000)

The 20-page itemized bill stoked criticism that the hospital prescribed expensive medicines and overcharged for things like strips that check blood sugar levels.

The father of the deceased patient has demanded a probe into the treatment and billing done by the corporate hospital, while a family friend's tweet expressing anger about the billing sparked social media outrage.

India's Health Minister JP Nadda responded to the incident by tweeting: "We will take all the necessary action."

Malpractices rampant

While this case has been thrust into the public domain, the bigger question is how private healthcare institutions which are known for charging sky-high fees for medical services operate without any accountability in the South Asian nation.

"These five-star hospitals have no transparency and no regulation whatsoever. This is the new reality in India and we need legislation to prevent patients from being treated like a cash cow," Puneet Bedi, a gynecologist from the premier Apollo Hospital, told DW.

Many doctors who spoke to DW on condition of anonymity due to the sensitivity of the issue and its potential impact on their positions say that three types of malpractices are particularly common in private hospitals: kickbacks for referrals, irrational drug prescribing and unnecessary interventions.

"The decay is deepening with the increasing onslaught of big corporate hospitals, growing pressure from the pharmaceutical industry and the massively expanding clout of medical equipment agencies," said a senior oncologist.

Last year, investigative agencies busted a racket of top doctors, including the CEO of a private hospital, in north India in connection with kidney transplants at big private hospitals in Indian cities. Then, in 2015, the Supreme Court passed a landmark verdict awarding nearly 20 million rupees to a young victim who lost her eyesight owing to the incompetence of doctors in the southern state of Tamil Nadu.

The unfortunate aspect, though, is that India lacks appropriate laws to regulate hospitals, diagnostic centers and other healthcare facilities in the private sector. The more reputed the hospital, the more it charges.

The practices of private hospitals was brought into the fore by two doctors Abhay Shukla and Arun Gadre in their book "Dissenting Diagnosis," which gives a chilling insider account of widespread malpractices afflicting the nation's healthcare sector.

The book explains that the nexus between corporate hospitals, pharma companies and doctors has increased the risks and costs of healthcare to such an extent that millions of middle-class Indians slide into poverty when they fall sick.

Low priority

Just last year, a year-long investigation by a web portal called Cobrapost detailed medical practices spanning three mega-cities of Delhi, Mumbai and Bangalore and covering 20 major private multi-specialty hospitals. It unearthed a racket of referrals in which these hospitals offer commission ranging between 10 and 30 percent to doctors and smaller hospitals or nursing homes.

In May this year, medical journal Lancet pointed out that India ranks below much poorer nations such as Bangladesh, Nepal, Ghana and even Liberia when it comes to providing healthcare for its masses.

On the basis of data from the Global Burden of Disease report, it said that India ranked 154 out of 195 countries in terms of access to healthcare.

The low priority accorded to health is highlighted by the fact that India spends less than 2 percent of its GDP on healthcare, which is far less than what is required considering the country's huge 1.2-billion-plus population.

In March this year, the long-awaited National Health Policy, unveiled by Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led government, promised to increase public health spending to 2.5 per cent of GDP in a time-bound manner and guarantee healthcare services to all Indians, particularly the underprivileged.

"But that is not the case. We have to do more. I agree there is commercialization of healthcare and there is overcharging, but there needs to be a serious rethink about how to go forward. The poor will suffer otherwise," Dr M C Mishra, former director of the All India Institute of Medical Sciences, told DW.

"The only way to tackle this situation is by boosting health insurance and educating people. Like financial inclusion we need healthcare inclusion," says Jitendra Kumar Singh of the Indian Medical Association.

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