Intended for healthcare professionals

Rapid response to:

Education And Debate

Healthcare lessons from Australia: what can Michael Howard learn from John Howard?

BMJ 2005; 330 doi: (Published 10 February 2005) Cite this as: BMJ 2005;330:357

Rapid Response:

Health care lessons

That medical insurance is not the panacea is amply clear. Unfortunately this folly is likely to be repeated in emerging economies like India as the powerful lobby of the private sector is well poised to milk the governmental funds citing the inadequacy of public health systems. The social ills of `for profit` private sector hospitals controlling the health of society and eventually even the academic medicines are mostly unrecognised but are real.

The overuse of inappropriate and costly technologies, especially with third party payment, not only harms the patients, but also fosters unhealthy nexus for profits (especially when governmental funds are utilised). And policing on the medical treatment has made the discipline of medicine bereft of it`s soul--i.e. trust.

Alas, advances in complexities of medical treatment are paving the way for the conversion of the doctor to a mere health professional--the paradise is lost.

Competing interests: None declared

Competing interests: No competing interests

17 February 2005
Shyam S Kothari
All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, 110029