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 team has been documenting overcharging of COVID patients by private hospitals across Maharashtra, while supporting individual patients to negotiate with hospitals for reducing grossly inflated bills. Currently COVID hospitalisation bills for 480 patients are being audited, and over 60 patient families have received official refunds of excess charges incurred during the COVID second wave. These hospital bills need to be further analysed, particularly to understand the patterns of overcharging related to spending on medicines during the hospitalisation period. In parallel, SATHI has been tracking significant pro-people regulatory provisions related to the private healthcare sector, which were enacted by Maharashtra government during the COVID epidemic, but are yet to be fully operationalised in a manner which would benefit patients. There is now urgent need to promote implementation of these provisions for patient protection, to prevent overcharging and patients’ rights violations in the present situation.
- Assessment of the overall scale of expenditure on medicines, surgical supplies and biosafety materials provided in private hospitals, concerning the sample of COVID patients
- Analysis of possible overcharging on selected medicines and supplies, comparing the charged prices with average hospital procurement costs.
- Drafted policy recommendations concerning regulation of the prices of medicines provided in private hospitals.
- Documentation of the status of implementation of Patients’ rights charter and Maharashtra Nursing Homes Registration Act (MNHRA), covering sample number of private hospitals
- Initiating formation of Grievance redressal cells as specified under Maharashtra Nursing Homes Registration Act Rules (2021), in selected areas.
- Raised capacity of health activists and civil society groups, enabling them to monitor and implementation of mentioned rules and government circulars. Wide dissemination of Patients’ rights charter and other materials and tools to generate public awareness
- Publication of a research brief summarising the key findings, lessons and recommendations of the study on charging on medicines during COVID hospitalisation.
- Organisation of a webinar for sharing key findings from the analysis, with participation of academicians, researchers, civil society representatives, and medical practitioners.