Support for Advocacy and Training to Health Initiative
Action Research Center of Anusandhan trust
Project Title: Study on analysing the implementation of COVID-specific rate regulation by Maharashtra state, response of private healthcare providers and performance of MPJAY scheme during COVID-19
Project Period: 2021-2022
Donor Agency: COPASAH-PAI
The COVID 19 pandemic triggered an upsurge in demand for healthcare services. In response to it, several countries scrambled to increase their capacity, turning to the private health sector for additional capacity. Many countries, especially low- and middle- income countries (LMICs) with a prominent private health sector, requisitioned private hospitals to provide health services to COVID-19 patients.
Around fifteen states of India took regulatory measures and directed private hospitals to reserve and regulate rates of 20%-80% of beds for COVID patients. In addition, the Supreme Court at the national level directed the government to ensure free COVID 19 tests in approved private laboratories. Maharashtra state was at the forefront to announce regulatory measures including rate capping on 80% of beds in private hospitals for COVID-19 treatment, and capping on ambulance charges for COVID-19 patients. In response to continued reports of fleecing of patients by private hospitals, the Maharashtra government took a step ahead, and started auditing the bills of private hospitals, to prevent exploitation of patients.
Keeping the above in mind, SATHI’s research aimed to analyse the public-private sector interaction during COVID-19 in India, including performance of state imposed private sector engagement, regulatory measures, and the role of PFHI in dealing with the challenge of COVID 19 epidemic in India. Such an analysis could inform more effective and regulated engagement of private sector towards achieving Universal Health Care (UHC). The study employed plural methods including a desk research for secondary data and narrative literature, qualitative interviews and analysis of quantitative data.