Working for a hospital I thought it was my karmic duty to insist on price revision as per current industry norms, to impress on consultants to promote utilization of our pharmacy and diagnostics (for better drugs and accurate results for the patients!!) and off course maximum conversion to inpatient services. After all, EBITDA had to be above the red mark to keep the institution viable.

This was until yesterday, when a leading specialist at another leading hospital refused to even go through the previous case sheets of one of my relatives until a costly scan he was suggesting was done at the facility suggested by him. Another revelation in this tryst was that some hospitals now have stop watches in the cabins of consultants so as to double up consultation fee as soon as the management accepted time is up.

I always had a perception that consultants are treated as the final authority in majority of hospitals today. However, this experience of a hospital where consultants are understandably under strict instructions from the management was repellent from a patient perspective.

The same day had more experiences in store. Another famous consultant working for a mid - sized hospital (read mismanaged and unpleasant) attended to my relative with patience, appropriate clinical concern and had no bearing upon where the drugs and investigation came from as long as they were from an authentic source. However I had no answers when I was faced with a question from my relative that why this famous doctor has moved from a five star hospital to this one and not a ladder up may be a seven star hospital?

Contradictions galore, questions remain constant.

Are we headed towards a commercialized Indian Healthcare where patient is at the bottom of the food chain?

How to bring patient in focus for business minded managements?

A questionable change in the patient perception that a star hospital will house best of the consultants and a small hospital will not.

I leave you with this final question to ponder upon:

Can ‘healthcare’ survive a business focused hospital set up?


  1. I always believed that our private hospitals were only as good as they are because they had to compete against a free NHS. If the NHS didn't exist we'd have something like the US system, which would be hell for us all. To get more info please visit