CAHO calls upon Government to not cut corners in Ayushman Bharat

Consortium’s Quality& Patient Safety Campaign gets big shot in arm, thanks WHO

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New Delhi: Consortium of Accredited Healthcare Organizations (CAHO) has called upon Union government to give credible health protection through Ayushman Bharat and not cut corners. The government should not ignore the issue of patient safety in order to keep spend on the scheme to the minimum.

CAHO, a coalition for promotion of patient safety and quality of care, has red flagged PM Modi government saying packages rates for treatments it has offered to private hospitals are abysmally low, unviable and a sure recipe for unethical practices. It has said it is apparent that quality of care and patient safety it is campaigning for will get short shrift in its implementation if unfeasible offer remains unadressed.

In the meantime, CAHO has got a big shot in its arm, thanks to WHO (World Health Organization), which observed its first World Patient Safety Day 2019 on September 17, endorsing it to be an annual affair. Over 500 private hospitals all over India participated in World Patient Safety Day. CAHO also launched a YouTube Channel CAHO Talks to disseminate need of quality care and patient safety. Under aegis of CAHO, various member organizations organized Global Patient Safety Day in their respective organizations and engaged nearby hospitals by conducting activities like -awareness campaigns, road shows and seminars. Five Zonal coordinators and twenty one State representatives of CAHO led this initiative in their respective zones and states.

WHO’s World Patient Safety Day has certainly given a handle to private health providers to hard negotiate on rates in Ayushman Bharat. The Consortium hopes that WHO’s assertion of the need of patient safety is most opportune and will act as a moral compulsion for the government to be reasonable in rates to ensure patient safety in Ayushman Bharat.

In a press conference on the eve of the World Patient Safety Day (September 17) in Indian Medical Association Headquarters, Ayushman Bharat came up as the main moot point as it involves patient safety of a very large number of people. WHO will particularly keep tab on patient safety data that emerges from Ayushman Bharat scheme. They said that patient safety must precede affordability. The healthcare leaders present in the press conference expressed their anguish regarding arbitrary rates fixed by the government. The leaders said they only want that the government calculate its own expenditure in Govt hospitals to factor in what it is offering to private hospitals. They said they want no more than that.

They said the patient safety is on at backburner in India. CAHO is for inculcating the culture quality care and utmost focus on patient safety across private hospitals in the country. They said according to WHO, millions of patients are harmed each year due to unsafe health care worldwide resulting in 2.6 million deaths annually in low-and middle-income countries. Most of these deaths are avoidable. The personal, social and economic impact of patient harm leads to losses of trillions of US dollars worldwide.

Dr Girdhar Gyani (Former Secretary General of QCI/ Founder CEO-NABH and Patron of CAHO), Director General, Association of Healthcare Providers (India) said, ‘Patient safety is the reduction of unnecessary harm associated with health care to an acceptable minimum. This has been one of the main area around which accreditation standards revolve. NABH has done tremendous job in highlighting the need and CAHO has done remarkable work in training healthcare professionals.’

Dr Vijay Agarwal, President, CAHO elaborated that ‘Patient safety is the prevention of errors and adverse effects to patients associated with health care. While health care has become more effective, it has also become more complex, with greater use of new technologies, medicine and treatments. Strong healthcare teams can play a crucial role to reduce infection rates, put checks in place to prevent mistakes or errors and ensure strong lines of communication between hospital staff, patients and families.’

Dr. Lallu Joesph, Senior Quality Manager CMC Vellore and Secretary General of CAHO, said ‘Every country should work towards enhancing patient safety especially by adopting Patient Safety Goals. Organizations like NABH, CAHO & AHPI need to collate the frequency and type of medical errors across the country and publish patient safety goals every 2 to 3 years.’

Dr. Sunil Saggar CEO Shanti Mukund Hospital and Treasurer CAHO added, ‘on this, first patient safety day, it is important to realize that patient safety is everyone’s business. There is much to be done, and all stake holders’ especially medical professionals must take responsibility for the development of an active and continuous improvement in patient safety culture.

According to Ms Upasana Arora, Chairperson, SEPC (Healthcare) and senior CAHO member explained that as institutions move to consumer centricity – ‘we need to realize that our customer safety is critical.  Celebrating a specific day for patient safety is important for health professionals and organizations on why we do, what we do and discuss good and improved practices.’

Dr Shalini Bhalla Quality Manager Fortis Healthcare and CAHO state representative said; ‘Patient Safety is the preface to our profession. It is heartening that CAHO is a frontline flag bearer of patient safety campaign, rallying its constituents amongst both the public and private healthcare providers, towards raising awareness amongst different audiences.’

Dr CM Bhagat Former Secretary General CAHO said ‘We at CAHO pledge to make a difference in this country through our partnering hospitals & all other hospitals towards a very safe patient care and to provide a clean & wonderful atmosphere for our patients.’

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