Fair Health Care Practices Initiative
CFBP - Rotary District Tie up
Patient Rights Booklet
In India people are recognizing the importance of good health. The fast paced life and economic boom has bought with it better incomes, higher expectations and stress coupled with work pressure. This has in turn increased the rate of heart diseases, high blood pressure etc., which has made health a priority. Yoga, meditation, diet regimes and gymming are making their way through the lives of millions of people today.
Even as health becomes a promising sector for a majority of people, the way they look at medicine has also changed. In recent years, the media has exposed many schemes and improper actions by doctors, hospitals and others in the medical field, which has raised suspicion.
Therefore it has become even more important to set norms for smooth functioning of hospitals and medical personnel.
The CFBP 'Patient-Doctor-Hospital Interse Relation' Seminar, held on December 1, 2010, underlined the concern which consumers (as patients) had about the critical issue of health care. They had learned of many schemes and improper actions by a few doctors, hospitals and others exposed in the media which had raised the concerns of consumers. The CFBP and Rotary District 3140 believed that consumers had a right to proper health care and fair treatment by all the related constituents i.e. doctors, hospitals, pharma and insurance companies, chemists, etc.
The CFBP and Rotary District 3140 also felt that as India becomes an economic superpower, it should not lag behind in human development, especially with regard to health. To really take advantage of the demographic dividend, it is imperative to ensure that every Indian is healthy - physically, mentally, emotionally and socially. Only then would India be able to showcase to the world that it is not just its 'intellectual capital', but its 'health capital' too.
Hence, they conceived and decided to embark on a 'Fair Health Care Practices' initiative focusing on health care, protection of patients' rights and promotion of fair practices between patients and the various health care constituents.
Building Consumer Confidence
- Pledge by participating hospitals members to follow fair, transparent and ethical practices at their hospitals
- Booklet on consumer's rights and responsibilities at hospitals
- Welcome consumers to be members of CFBP to remain updated on consumer news
- Opportunity to send views and suggestions of consumers to be taken up with member hospitals
- Help sensitise the member hospitals on consumer grievances and have them addressed
Building Member Hospital Confidence
- Interface with consumers
- Leverage CFBP's brand to sensitise hospitals about consumer's discomfort about their services
- Bring like-minded members together to creating band width of values on fair business practices at hospitals
- Share innovative suggestions to improve hospital services and customer care
- Participate in building standards of 'good hospital practices' to be practiced at all hospitals
Creating Awareness about Hospitals
- Patients rights and obligations
- Dealing with cashless insurance services
- Hospital rights and obligations
- Awareness on safety standards and quality issues at hospitals
- Bringing consumer education programmes to hospitals and on joint platforms
- Bringing together programmes with all providers of services to improve the point-to-point delivery of services
Bringing about a Change in Government Policy
- Take up both consumer's and member hospital's causes with government
- Recommend policy change that will benefit consumers and services at hospitals
- Bring in acceptable standards to be instituted at hospitals for consumer safety and service
- Play an Ombudsman role in dealing with unsettled consumer grievances to bring fair and amicable settlements
The CFBP and Rotary District 3140 were brought together by a synergy of thought and the common values of the Rotarian's Four Way Test (Truth and Fair Play and Practice), which are shared by both Rotarians and the CFBP. The tie-up between the CFBP and Rotary District 3140 was announced at the Rotary District 3140 Conference on January 30, 2011 at the Renaissance Hotel, Mumbai by the District Governor, Dr. Jayant Kulkarni, and CFBP President, Mr. Suresh L. Goklaney. Rtn. Firoz Kachwalla, District Chairman 3140, was the primary mover of this tie-up.
The thrust of the initiative is to promote fair business practices amongst Rotary District 3140 members, to enlist their support for the fair business practices movement by enrolling themselves/their organisations as CFBP members and most importantly, to work together in the interest of consumers.
The first step of the CFBP - Rotary District 3140 Fair Health Care Practices initiative was the launch of the Fair Health Care Practices Pledge for Hospitals at the Rotary District 3140 Assembly on April 17, 2011 at the Nehru Centre, Mumbai. The Pledge was launched by Mr. Suresh L. Goklaney, President, CFBP, along with District Governor Rtn. Dr. Jayant Kulkarni, District Governor Elect Rtn. Vijay Jalan and District Chairman Rtn. Firoz Kachwalla. The Pledge had been drawn up in consultation with the heads of leading hospitals in Mumbai.
Signatories to the Pledge
Representatives of leading hospitals in Mumbai who adopted the Pledge on behalf of their respective hospitals were:
- Mr. Pramod Lele, CEO - P. D. Hinduja National Hospital & Research Centre
- Surg. Rear Admiral (Retd.) S. K. Mohanty, SM, VSM, Medical Director - Jaslok Hospital& Research Centre
- Dr. Amit Singh, Medical Director and Mr. Shrikant Soman, CFP - Bhatia Hospital
- Mr. Homi Katgara, Jt. Managing Trustee - Masina Hospital
- Dr. Vernon P. de Sa, Medical Director - Saifee Hospital
The Pledge was subsequently adopted by:
- Maj. Gen. Vijay Krishna ( Retd.), CEO - Breach Candy Hospital
- Dr. Ashok Hatolkar, Medical superintendent, Dr. Balabhai Nanavati Hospital
The CFBP and Rotary District 3140 are optimistic that with the adoption of Fair Health Care Practices Pledge by these leading hospitals, many more hospitals will follow suit because of their example, and they are actively engaging with them towards this end.
Objectives of the Pledge
The CFBP and Rotary District 3140 believe that the Pledge will surely go long way towards building and strengthening confidence amongst patients (as consumers). This is because participating hospitals will:
- Follow fair, transparent and ethical practices at their hospitals and encourage other hospitals to follow suit
- Elicit views and suggestions from patients which can be sent to member hospitals to take
- Sensitise member hospitals to consumer grievances so that they can promptly address them
- Build confidence of participating hospitals as it will provide an interface with patients
- Bring like-minded hospitals together to create a band width of values on fair business practices at hospitals
- Enable hospitals to share innovative suggestions to improve hospital services and customer care
PD Hinduja Hospital & Research Centre.
Jaslok Hospiatal & Research Centre.
'Patients' Rights, Responsibilities and Remedies Booklet
Another significant step of the CFBP - Rotary District 3140 Fair Health Care Practices initiative was the launch of the 'Patients' Rights, Responsibilities and Remedie's booklet written by Mr. Shrikant V. Soman, Director - Finance, Bhatia Hospital, Mumbai. Mr. Soman is a social activist in the field of good governance who has also had many years of experience at senior management levels in premium hospitals in India.
The booklet seeks to dissipate the atmosphere of mistrust that existed between consumers (as patients) and the constituents of the health care industry because:
- Consumers had misgivings about the fairness of health care delivery which had made it a critical concern for them
- The root cause of many of their problems lay in a lack of proper information and understanding about the industry whose complexity is unmatched by any other industry
- The advent of technology, changes in the practices of the medical profession and an increase in the number of tests and diagnostic procedures afford a clearer picture of the patient and her/his illness, but to a considerable extent, 'judgement' (an informed opinion of the physician based on experience, expertise and knowledge) was a decisive factor in the cure
- The measurement of the 'quality' of health care is not as straightforward as in other industries because the element of 'judgment' in diagnosing and deciding on the best treatment differs from practitioner to practitioner so much so that the perception of a patient and her/his relatives about the quality of health care delivery can be a victim of these differences in opinion
- The passion and dedication of health care professionals largely goes unrecognised
The booklet strives:
- To enable consumers to learn about the health care industry
- To educate them on their rights, responsibilities and obligations as patients
- To alert them about the precautions they should take
- To caution them on medical negligence and the legal recourse they can have
- To provide them with useful information to aid them in their time of need (like contact details of consumer forums at the national, state and district levels)
In doing so, it hope to strengthen the trust between consumers (as patients) and the constituents of the health care industry.
Healthcare is gaining momentum and importance in India today. There is a need felt to monitor and regularize health practices in order to provide and promote 'fair and quality health care' across the county. With this objective in mind, the CFBP has created a questionnaire and invites every patient to complete it and express their views based on their experiences whilst undergoing treatment in a hospital / clinic.
Patient feedback is important as it will help monitor and guide hospitals / doctors / companies / other personnel related to healthcare to perform better or take corrective measures when necessary.
One can fill out the form provided in this section by simply ticking the appropriate column alongside each question. All scores in the form are aggregated and then published on the website.