Current projects under Private sector
Project Title : Analysing medicine expenditures, preventing overcharging and patients’ rights violations in context of COVID epidemic in Maharashtra
Project Period : October 2022 to March 2023
Donor Agency : Thakur Foundation
SATHI documented overcharging of COVID patients by private hospitals across Maharashtra, while supporting individual patients to negotiate with hospitals for reducing grossly inflated bills. COVID hospitalisation bills for 480 patients were audited, and over 60 patient families received official refunds of excess charges incurred during the COVID second wave. These hospital bills were further analysed, particularly to understand the patterns of overcharging related to spending on medicines during the hospitalisation period.
Simultaneously, SATHI also tracked significant pro-people regulatory provisions related to the private healthcare sector, enacted by Maharashtra government during the COVID epidemic, which were not fully operationalised in a way that benefitted patients.
The study underscored the urgent need to promote implementation of these provisions for patient protection, and to prevent overcharging and patients’ rights violations in the present situation.
- Assessment of overall scale of expenditure on medicines, surgical supplies and biosafety materials provided in private hospitals, for a sample of COVID patients
- Analysis of possible overcharging on selected medicines and supplies, comparing the charged prices with average hospital procurement costs.
- Policy recommendations concerning regulation of prices of medicines dispensed in private hospitals.
- Documentation of status of implementation of Patients’ Rights Charter and Maharashtra Nursing Homes Registration Act (MNHRA), covering sample number of private hospitals
- Formation of Grievance Redressal Cells as specified under Maharashtra Nursing Homes Registration Act Rules (2021), in selected areas.
- Capacity enhancement of health activists and civil society groups, enabling them to monitor implementation of mentioned rules and government circulars. Wide dissemination of Patients’ Rights Charter and other materials and tools to generate public awareness.
- Research brief summarising key findings, lessons and recommendations of the study on charging for medicines during COVID hospitalization.
- Webinar for sharing key findings from the analysis, with academicians, researchers, civil society representatives, and medical practitioners.