Most patients are dissatisfied with India's healthcare system, says EY-FICCI report
PB Jayakumar August 20, 2019
There is a growing mistrust among patients against healthcare providers and the Indian healthcare system needs to tailor its current model for inclusion and mass healthcare to deliver true care with a focus on primary care, wellness and health outcomes, says the EY- FICCI's report 'Re-engineering Indian Healthcare 2.0', released today.
The report, based on an online survey of 1,000 patients across six geographical zones in India, reveals that 61 per cent patients believe that hospitals did not act in their best interests, as against 37 per cent patients from a similar survey by EY in 2016. While 63 per cent of patients indicated that they were not happy with hospital responsiveness and waiting times, about 59 per cent patients felt the hospitals were not concerned about feedback and do not actively seek it. India needs to re-engineer the healthcare ecosystem with systemic and structural changes, keeping the ground realities in mind, through innovative and sustainable models of care delivery as well as business processes, says the report. It said private providers too have generally demonstrated far greater enterprise in pursuing the growth agenda than efficiency (both capital and operational), resorting to price increase as a default response for managing bottom line agenda.
"For realising the aspired levels of efficiency, it is imperative for healthcare providers to shift from an incremental performance plus approach to a radical design to cost or direct-to-consumer approach for redesigning their operating models and cost structures," says Kaivaan Movdawalla, Partner - Healthcare, EY India.
"There is an urgent need to bridge the 'trust deficit' between the patient and the doctor; patient and the hospital; as well as government and the private healthcare provider for the Health of the Indian Healthcare," said Dr Arvind Lal, Chair, FICCI Healthservices Committee and CMD, Dr Lal PathLabs.
Kaivaan Movdawalla noted that though India is among the lowest cost healthcare providers, still healthcare services are unaffordable to majority of the population and that is one reason for the mistrust. Engaging private players for innovative primary care in remote locations, enabling Make in India for frugal medical supplies, increasing the penetration of low cost domestically manufactured products etc can reduce this growing gap in trust.
The report felt though several steps have been undertaken by the government and the medical community in India to bring about transparency in the sector, implementation continues to remain a challenge. Healthcare providers must focus on redesigning their business models to ensure that patients are satisfied with the services provided. They must build a strong positive emotional connect with patients, which eventually translates into trust. For building trust across all principal stakeholders, that is, policymakers, healthcare providers, payors and the public, EY recommends a '5E framework' comprising integrating empathy, efficiency, empowerment, ease and environment to achieve the agenda of universal health access and the right to health.
In sharp contrast to the developed world, India has one of the lowest per capita healthcare spends and total and public healthcare expenditure as a percentage of GDP.
Consequently, issues of high disease prevalence, limited access to provider and low propensity to avail health services has been a challenge for the large populace with meagre means, which are barely enough to ensure subsistence, said the report.