Sustaining for-profit emergency healthcare services in low resource areas

Yogesh Jain, Sushil B Patil, Gajanan B Phutke

DOI: 10.20529/IJME.2018.062


Abstract

The Bawaskars in their Comment “Emergency care in rural settings: Can doctors be ethical and survive?” raise a context-specific question about the sustainability of emergency care in rural, low resource areas. This could be broadened to “What efforts are needed to sustain emergency care systems run by the private sector in rural, low resource areas without catastrophically affecting patients or healthcare providers?” There are enough constitutional, legal and ethical imperatives to state that all emergency care should be available to everyone irrespective of paying capacity. The State should be responsible for providing emergency care via the public sector or for strategically purchasing it from private providers. Even if that arrangement is not viable, private sector providers cannot expect the community to underwrite the sustainability of such services and the return on investment in their training. Finally, we suggest that the principles of ethics cannot be invoked for justifying the financial viability and sustainability of the private sector in an unequal world.

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