FE Editorial : Real healthcare?
The results have been disappointing. As it happens, the majority of those providing healthcare are not trained professionally—close to 70% in rural MP had no medical qualification, whereas only a third could articulate a diagnosis (of which only half were partially or wholly correct). In urban Delhi, the results were more encouraging; 52% of Delhi health-providers could boast of a medical degree, whereas 21% of the providers provided a proper diagnosis. But there is an interesting caveat in the report, which may be the key to further quality-enhancement—the vibrancy of the private-healthcare providers. Although private players in rural MP, on an average, had less formal training than public-sector healthcare providers, their adherence to a required checklist was substantially higher (6.81% more than public-sector providers). Similarly, private health-providers in urban Delhi trumped public-sector workers, albeit with a smaller margin (reflecting the better quality of public health institutions in Delhi). In the report’s own words, “Evidence suggests that private-sector providers were better in adhering to the checklist … than their public-sector counterparts”. Why? Because “provider effort” becomes the “key determinant of quality”. And those whose incomes directly relate to their work would obviously put in more effort.
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