Regulating private healthcare
: This interview addresses the issue of hospitals that continue to fleece patients despite regulations being in place. The expert says that overbilling was accepted as a commonplace phenomenon even prior to the pandemic in private hospitals. However, not only has this trend continued but evidence suggests that it may have intensified. Hospitals, she says, are able to inflate charges freely in the absence of transparent billing. This is on account of arbitrary charges that have made their way into the billing system such as biomedical waste disposal charges, medical history assessment charges and Resident Medical Officer charges. Even insurers have refused to reimburse Covid-19 rates as many of the charges are arbitrary. Read the interview here
Untested AYUSH medicines
: Recently, the AYUSH Ministry asked UP’s AYUSH society to use a kit of different AYUSH medicines to treat Covid-19 in different districts of the state. To test the efficacy of this kit, the ministry had started a clinical trial. The results of this trial still remain obscure. One of the drugs in this kit, AYUSH-64, is based on the premise of a 2018 study that tested its efficacy against influenza-like illnesses. Further, even this study had major design flaws. The columnist says this kind of sate-funded distribution of untested and unproven medication is potentially harmful. Read more here
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