Essay on the Changing Scenario and New Trends in the Hospital Industry
Clinics and communities will continue to pressure hospital management to provide such advances even though they will be very costly.
Not only pressures will increase for providing newer technological capabilities, but there will be growing demands for such care. There are growing indications that this has started happening in our Indian situation.
Since treatment is provided free of charge in government hospitals, it has in many cases resulted in abuse, particularly in the outpatient department.
This has led to the patient being made to pay a small charge, varying between 10 to 20 per cent of the cost of medical attention, which, though modest is a useful contribution to hospital running costs.
The model of the nationalised health system that took shape in Great Britain and some other countries has not found true acceptance in India, because health and medical care is not a central but state subject.
Allocation of funds for the health sector both in the central and state budgets has also declined gradually. Perhaps this is the reason, among others, those private institutions, commercial firms and corporate bodies are jumping into the medical care field to form investor-owned, for-profit hospitals.
One-third of the last decade’s increase in medical costs is attributed to increase use of high technology medicine, particularly surgical and diagnostic procedures.
Even then, successful launching of state-of-the-art investor owned hospitals has proved that hospitals can benefit from corporate management principles and can function profitably and efficiently without sacrificing quality and affordability.
At the turn of the century most people died at home cheaply. Today, more than 20 per cent die in expensively equipped hospitals, and it is estimated that up to half of an average person’s lifetime medical expenses will occur during his last six months.
The changing trends are indicating the following:
a. In determining the extent and coverage, there will be more and more dominance by consumers rather than providers or producers.
b. Hospitals and health care institutions will become akin to industries.
c. Not all services under one roof. Hospitals will be catering more and more to the needs of patients in fragments, which:
i. will lead to more and more specialised hospitals in place of general hospitals which provided medical, surgical, obstetric and gynecological, ENT, paediatrics, etc. under one roof.
ii. People will medical care.
iii. Hospitals will require more and more management skills as administrators at each level.
iv. Will lead to growth of corporate hospitals and modern management concepts.
v. Will be capital intensive.
vi. Will be technology intensive.
vii. Ascendancy of technical expectations over human values.