Right to Health.

Right to Health Bill.

This is not a first. USA has this law that any one who walks into an Emergency Room (ER) must be treated. No cash there. Medical Insurance pays for all – including ER, IP & OP treatment. And even if a person has no insurance, ER treatment is free in all private hospitals. For these free patients, the transfer in Ambulance is also free. This law is widely used by illegal immigrants in USA. Citizens too claim to have no insurance and overuse Emergency Room Services as a short cut to avoid seeing doctors in OP – with appointment and fees. This huge burden on the ER has changed emergency responses by medical community, across USA.

Unlike what is shown on TV, in USA, senior doctors dont turn up for Emergencies or Accidents in the ER. Junior doctors operate even when seniors are needed in life-threat situations. In USA, mis-diagnosis abounds. A wrong diagnosis by the first response junior Dr in ER carries through to IP admissions and to seniors. The treatment given goes wrong. You will find on Google that the 3rd leading cause of death in USA is Medical Negligence. What do they expect when they want the best & experienced brains for free?

This one law in US has caused heavy damage to hospital care. This “free treatment” has to be paid for by some one. So the cost of hospitalization increased to compensate and absorb this loss. The burden fell on those who had medical insurance and were paying correctly. The final consequence of this law was that Insurance Premium rose step by step to 8 times to what it was. Thus the actual cost of this “free” treatment was passed on to tax paying citizens. USA is very rich and so they can manage. In India only 3% of citizens pay tax and this burden will be too much on them. It will direcly impact their health safety and insurance premiums. Security of Family will be affected. If as a middle class man, you are now paying Rs. 10000 per year; this will slowly become Rs. 80000 per year, just to guard your health.

Emergency drugs are not cheap. One vial of good medicine for heart attack or brain stroke is Rs. 30000 or more. With an ER over load on senior doctors in private hospitals, junior Drs will take major spot decisions, like in USA. And like there, medico-legal cases will shoot up. But our Indian courts are already unable to cope. A case in India already takes 5 to 20 years. In most of UK and Europe, all health care is public. India had both private and public hospitals. In the 1980s, who asked our politicians to allow “Corporate” care with rip-off rates?

What will happen next, due to this law? Are our politicians taking one more wrong step? Dear Rajasthan, please think about the long term consequences of what you are doing. USA today has the costliest and worst health care systems in the world. With all our faults, caused due to population, you do not want the “accessible” Indian health care system to become as bad as USA, nor as cost-intensive. Please do not over burden our 3% reponsible tax payers.

⛑ Dr. R. Jayaprakash

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