According to a joint report by the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) and Ernst & Young (EY), Six in every 10 patients did not believe that hospitals acted in their best interest, as against the 37% in 2016. Dr Abhijit More from Jan Swasthya Abhiyan said lack of transparency in healthcare has always been one of the main reasons for patient dissatisfaction.

There is a visible “mismatch between the estimate and final bill”, and the lack of information about additional charges. “India has the cheapest healthcare in the world, yet it is prohibitive for the majority of the population. While hospitals expand their services, efficiency seems to be the casualty,” said EY India’s Kaivaan Movdawalla, the main author of paper.

The report found that half of the 1,000 patient-participants were not happy with their hospital experience due to poor doctor-patient communication. “Around 46% felt that doctors don’t spend enough time with them. A similar number felt that nurses were not confident or experienced enough to know what to do,” said the author.

Long waiting hours at a hospital, the frequency of communication, the unresponsiveness to patient suggestions as well as the lack of cleanliness added to patients’ ire.

A quick solution would be to adopt the Clinical Establishment Act that would regulate services and prices. “So far, the healthcare industry didn’t accept patients as stakeholders in the decision-making process, it is time to change that, to change lack of transparency in healthcare” he added.