Source: The Hindu Business Line
Tamil Nadu plans to get hospitals offering healthcare services under the State-sponsored health insurance accredited for quality. The move is expected to help healthcare providers adopt standard operating procedures and free patients from needless expenditure necessitated by infection, wrong diagnosis and surgical errors.
The National Accreditation Board For Hospitals and Healthcare Providers will look at 149 objective parameters for entry-level acceptance for small hospitals. For hospitals with bed strength above 50, the board has set over 600 standards. Infection control, pharmacy management, care of patients and patient rights are among key benchmarks. Health centres need pay Rs.10,000 as certification fees, and State health officials are keen to get a good portion of the 834 government and private hospitals offering the insurance scheme.
J Radhakrishnan, Tamil Nadu Health Secretary, said smaller health centres should play a proactive role in getting their facilities accredited so that the scheme could expand further.
C Vijayabaskar, Health Minister, Tamil Nadu, said a meeting to discuss modalities of getting these hospitals accredited and estimate the associated expenditure will take place soon.
He added that the State health scheme has touched over seven lakh lives so far, spending close to Rs.1,509 crore since its inception in January 2012. Over 2.74 lakh patients have received life-saving surgeries at Government hospitals. The scheme has expanded its coverage to 1,016 diseases now, and is looking at including heart transplants.
Improved quality reduces large needless costs for all stakeholders – the insurer, the hospital and the State, said Somil Nagpal, a World Bank health specialist analysing Government health schemes in the country. He co-authored a report “Government-sponsored Health Insurance in India-Are you Covered?” It concluded saying a fourth of India’s population by 2010 was benefited by different ways from Government health schemes.
“Costs of excessive healthcare due to wrong diagnoses and mistakes during surgeries touched $41.5 billion in 2006, a number equal to total healthcare expenditure in India during the year,” he said, adding that the NABH has only 250 hospitals accredited in a country of over one lakh health centres.