NEW DELHI: The Indian Medical Association (IMA) has rejected the Centre's ambitious National Health Protection Mission claiming that it would compromise on the quality of services being provided and also lead to breeding of corruption in the sector.
"These package rates are unacceptable as they are exposing the patients to danger in hospitals, as such low rates will have to be compromised with the quality of services being provided and will only breed corruption. This will have a deleterious effect on patient safety," IMA national president Dr Ravi Wankhedekar said and added that the Centre had not acted upon any objections that the association had raised.
The project also called Ayushman Bharat - Pradhan Mantri Rashtriya Swasthya Suraksha Mission, provides treatment for coronary bypass, knee replacement at rates which are 15-20 per cent cheaper than the ones under the Central Government Health Scheme (CGHS).
However, Wankhedekar said that the IMA was ready to collaborate with the government for the project if the package rates are revised to a reasonable level. "Even at a marginal profit of 15 per cent, crores of rupees would unnecessarily go to the third party. Therefore in order to keep the current healthcare delivery system intact and preventing it from collapsing, all the stakeholders including private players and the IMA needs to be taken in confidence," Dr Wankhedkar said and added that the current proposal of the project will lead to the extinction of medium and small hospitals.
Echoing Wankhedekar's view was a doctor from a leading hospital in the national capital. "It is a very ambitious project but very impractical. The IMA's stand on the issue is right. It is not feasible to conduct surgeries or diagnosis for such ailments at the rates prescribed in the project. The government must look to revise the packages," he said.