This episode of “Future of Health” by Apollo Hospitals, brings to you the changing aspects of Indian Healthcare and reasons for patients lacking trust in their Doctors.
Nearly a generation ago, ‘doctors’ were considered ‘next to God.’ But, in recent times the most revered profession is now losing its grip and is exposed to violence and mobbing. What is it that leads to the trust deficit between the doctors and the patients? Do we need to trust the physicians and healthcare systems more?
Today, people have mixed and varied reviews about doctors. While people only trust few and selected doctors, the others think that doctors are not selfless and just care about making money. More than 50 hospitals were attacked in the last 2 years due to the lack of trust in the Indian Healthcare systems. A patient’s trust depends on 2 factors. Interpersonal factors which involve the physicians further narrow down to medical expertise and customer satisfaction, which ultimately leads to respecting patient’s time. The second-factor Social hospital and Organization is again divided into two parts, one information found on mass media and two, the feedback from different users.
“When it comes to the trust deficit between a patient and a doctor, I think we need to look at both the aspects, from the doctor’s perspective and from the patient’s perspective. As a medical doctor myself, I can vouch to say that we doctors have changed, what we were practicing many years back and what we see the present generation of doctors today, there is a huge difference between the time we spend with our patients to explain to them the diseases, the problems they are suffering from, what are the treatment options, causes, and alternative methods of treatment. Whereas from the patient’s point of view we have to understand that their family members are tensed, there is a financial burden that is also going to be undertaken and it is important that we spend time with a patient and their relatives to explain to them what exactly is going to be done.” - Dr. Aftab Khan (Senior Interventional Cardiologist, Apollo Gleneagles Hospitals, Kolkata)
A study reviewed that 70% of people believe that doctors act in their interest and over 60% of people believe that hospitals act in their interest. The trust deficit is not based on unfounded grounds, the number of cesarean deliveries has gone up by 70% and the hospitals sometimes also charge more for simple diseases and sometimes it has been noted that hospitals have performed operations without taking the prior approval of the patients or the relatives.
Due to different reasons today, the doctors are mistrusted. 2% - 3% of the doctors might be involved in malpractices but they do not represent the rest 98% of the doctors. There have been some cases of medical negligence, the cost of treatments has become high due to the private hospitals requiring inputs from high-end technologies most of which are imported. The lack of communication is also a major cause for patients not trusting doctors today.
During the epidemic of dengue, a patient named Sravani Paul Chowdhury was suffering from very high fever and was admitted to the nearby hospital where the treatment given to her by the doctors was incorrect and she became very weak and was damaged internally. Later, the doctors asked her family to take her and they discharged her from the hospital. She was then taken to Apollo hospital where she was suffering from multi-organ failure. Lack of transparency is the biggest factor of trust deficit in healthcare.
The five elements which lead to this trust deficit in the healthcare system are:
Nowadays the general perspective is if a doctor comes in a luxurious car, he is crooked but if a celebrity or an advocate comes in the same car, he has earned it with hard work. Can this stereotypical approach towards healthcare go away? Watch the video to know more.