Private Healthcare Mistreating Women in India

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New stories and research studies are coming out on the unnecessary surgeries that private healthcare companies and doctors are performing in India. Recently in the nation private healthcare “accounts for 93% of hospitals and 85% of doctors.” This means that especially for rural women, a lot of whom are farmers, the one doctor or clinic available to them may very likely be suggesting completely unnecessary treatments. Often these doctors “‘make them scared that they have cancer and are going to die. They mislead them into undergoing surgery that is not necessary … in their greed for money,’ said Durga Prasad Saini” who works for the NGO discovering these malfeasance. The most commonly suggested surgeries are hysterectomies and caesareans, for they are some of the most expensive available. Apparently almost 70% of the women at three of five clinics had had their uterus taken out, demonstrating the vastness of this mistreatment.

India, though known for its problems with untrained or corrupted health workers, has supposedly be improving their health system nation-wide. So how is this type of severe risk by private healthcare providers possible? Here the blame is placed on “the absence of government regulation, [which] allows the appalling abuse of the country’s own people.” Some international institutions such as Oxfam are now “calling for the Indian government to make healthcare for all a priority – and is urging international donors to support them and back regulation of the private healthcare sector in developing countries.” It is terribly difficult, however, to broadly support private healthcare (for its capitalist purposes), while at the same time demanding regulation of it. There must be a huge sense of hypocrisy present, especially felt by those actually in need of the healthcare.

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