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Healthcare for people with private help

Dinesh Upadhyay
Doctor, Tata Main Hospital

I don?t entirely agree with the suggestion that important departments in Rajendra Institute of Medical Sciences (RIMS), Ranchi, and Mahatma Gandhi Memorial (MGM) Medical College and Hospital, Jamshedpur, be outsourced. The concept would be a total turnaround of medical healthcare in Jharkhand. Where will the professors and doctors working in different departments go if the departments are outsourced? Every department is important in some respect or the other. It would not be just to outsource human resources (doctors and support staff) because it is the strength of any medical organisation. One must not forget that RIMS and MGM are teaching hospitals, not commercial. The physical structure and equipment maintenance, though, can be outsourced.

Manoj Bakshi
Doctor, Ranchi

Icompletely agree with the idea of outsourcing because despite being an autonomous body, the functioning of RIMS is not satisfactory. Doctors are not regular and punctual while the food available in the canteen is not too nutritious. RIMS is over-staffed and the government is paying the doctors unnecessarily. Besides, the payment of doctors of even AIIMS is not on a par with those in RIMS. On the other hand, the service available to the patients is not of very high quality. At least the departments of gynaecology, nephrology, cardiology as well as paediatrics should be soon outsourced.

RG Narayan
Chairman, Dignity Foundation

Definitely yes. The maintenance of important departments in government hospitals such as RIMS and MGM should be handed over to private concerns. But the outsourcing should be quality based and should give value for money. It should be for specialised functions and not to junk the problems. At present, industries are outsourcing the services primarily with the intention to reduce cost and improve quality.

Shekhar Chaudhury Kajal
Joint secretary, IMA, Ranchi

Indian culture is not accustomed to the system of outsourcing and an institution like RIMS, where service is the main motive, will be badly hit if departments are outsourced. For example, after the recent outbreak of diarrhoea, the patients, who are mostly poor, are rushed to RIMS because the treatment is free. If the departments are outsourced, the private concerns will aim at making profits and the objective of service will be sidelined. The available resources and the infrastructure of RIMS should be fully exploited and that would be sufficient.

GC Majhi
General secretary, East Singhbhum unit of Indian Medical Association

Outsourcing of important departments in a government hospital is not a viable option especially in the interest poor people. In the beginning, the private companies may get ready to do the job at a very low cost. It may even be less than what is charged in government hospitals. In the long run, however, they will start charging more and the government will then have no option but to surrender. There are some private hospitals in the country which are exploiting people in name of providing quality service. The government should never even think of outsourcing hospitals.

Raju Ojha

Outsourcing will lead to more corruption because again to decide who to bring in will create further controversy. There will be a provision for tenders which will lead to corrupt practices. Besides, there would be a race to hoard as much money as possible by those who have been given the responsibility. Hospitals such as RIMS are to provide services to the poor and the condition of RIMS is not praiseworthy. But after outsourcing whatever service is being provided will also no longer be there. RIMS can be run smoothly only when the government takes strict action.

Rini Gupta
College student, Jamshedpur

I feel the entire set-up of both RIMS and MGM should be given out to interested private parties for better management. Outsourcing some departments will serve no purpose at all. Hospitals are places where people go for quality treatment. But the current state of affairs in these government-run hospitals is woeful. Most government doctors are more interested in running their private clinics rather than offering quality services in the hospitals. I am sure that the quality of healthcare will improve by leaps and bounds if private parties are handed over these hospitals. The state government can always reach an arrangement with private concerns to see to it that poor and needy patients get proper treatment at subsidised rates.

Gaurav Khanna
Consultant, Ranchi

Outsourcing of government departments is not the solution for inefficiency. If an institution has to be run smoothly, strict discipline must be enforced among officials. Outsourcing will make the people concerned more irresponsible, which is not what is wanted. Outsourcing of important departments is not practical at all because it will create more problems for the government. Work culture has to be improved because it is the that and the mindset of the officials that hinder smooth functioning.

Dinesh Pathak
Cyber cafe owner, Ranchi

Outsourcing will trigger a fresh controversy. RIMS can easily be improved only by government intervention. Outsourcing will remain merely a word as I do not think anything would change as private concerns believe in profits while the government has opened up RIMS to provide services to poor patients at minimal costs and sometimes even free of cost.

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