Access to healthcare, which has been universally recognized as
a basic human need as well as an inalienable right, has sought
to be ensured in India through constitutional commitments.
However, these commitments have not been translated into
appropriate policies and effective practice and more than 50
percent of population does not have access to essential
medicine because of simple lack of availability or
unaffordable prices. Even when there is access, quality is
often suspect as poor recipients of health services often get
entangled in a vicious cycle involving commercially motivated
doctors, pharmacists and diagnostic clinics, who compromise on
medical treatment to maximize their own revenues.
Such malpractices in health delivery are abetted by a weak
regulatory environment coupled with structural factors. These
imperfections in the market for medical services (especially
in the absence of proper regulatory oversight and strict
enforcement) often lead to proliferation of market
malpractices at various levels resulting in poor market
outcomes. Such market failure calls for identification of
necessary remedial action, a closer monitoring and regulation
of the private sector.
This project is an attempt towards identifying more accurately
the source and nature of such medical malpractices and their
impacts on consumers. It would highlight various distortions
in health care delivery system in the country and provide
inputs to policy community as well as other stakeholders for
taking necessary actions to curb such practices. An attempt
would be made to explore the possibility of using the Indian
Competition Act to clamp down these practices.
This project is an attempt in improving the affordability and
quality of health care in India, especially for the poor by
generating recognition among the government, media and the
Medical Council of India (MCI) about the relationship between
incidence of anticompetitive practices/malpractices and poor
quality of healthcare services.
The following are the specific objectives of this initiative:
Performing advocacy among relevant organizations to garner
support for research aimed at identification of medical
malpractices in the health sector
Determining market malpractice in the health sector.
Assessing the scope and effectiveness of the present
regulatory system, especially the competition law to deal
with the above concerns
Making recommendations for better regulatory outcomes,
given the above concerns.
Spreading awareness about these recommendations so to lay
the ground for their implementation