It would seem that the condition has remained largely unchanged in terms of Patients benefit or benefits for the consumers themselves— perhaps the main objective of cost capping. Like many expensive drugs and medical equipment, the profit margins for hospitals are declining. Many health-related government policies, like Ayushman Bharat, have contributed to similar criticism.
Some hospitals have used the loophole that only the devices and drugs themselves are covered under the price cap to counteract the potential for profit reduction from the price cap. As such, a hospital may simply increase the surgical fee, and pay unnecessarily for products used during operation to recover costs.
Several hospitals have adopted other cost-cutting steps, such as recycling of catheters and guide-wires. Unless proper protocols for ventilation are not implemented, this could contribute to pollution, a possibility that could be dangerous considering the surgery’s invasive existence. This is a disturbing possibility given India’s heavy incidence of hospital-acquired infections. As such, patient costs have remained similar and the potential for risks due to cost reduction has increased, making the decision to cap device prices such as stents a contentious issue with regard to patients benefit and outcome at best.
Indian producers may have benefited most from increased use of domestic products— much as the Indian generics market flourished. The long-term impacts are yet to be seen, as more and more treatments and medical devices are being cut down on the consumer’s healthcare costs. However, such an outcome may require greater government oversight of other surgical and treatment-related costs and increased vigilance about the risk of complications due to cost-cutting practices in the hospital environment.