As many as 98,000 hospital deaths occur annually due to medical errors, which also increase the cost of treatment for patients, according to K.K. Kalra, Chief Executive Officer of the National Accreditation Board for Hospitals and Healthcare Providers (NABH).

Addressing a Health Summit organised here on Sunday by the Confederation of Indian Industry, he said that quality was a concern for the Indian healthcare industry, which was seen to have grown at a rapid pace, especially in recent years.

Advancements in knowledge, disease management and technology besides an aging society had increased the complexities in management of patients. Accredited hospitals could create confidence in the community about the hospital’s service and assist other healthcare institutions prepare for high quality systems.

Further, the penetration of health insurance was low in India despite the high cost of health care. Also, there was no monitoring of outcomes in hospitals.

He said that while India had committed to provide affordable quality health care to everyone under the National Rural Health Mission in the 12 Five-Year plan, it required a lot of work, he said.

Political commitment was needed to make the safety of patients a priority in the public health system. The use of information technology must be promoted in the health care sector besides the sharing of best practices, said Mr. Kalra.

He also clarified that the NABH, which was a constituent board of the Quality Council of India, was not a regulatory body and only operated accreditation programme for healthcare organisations.

Speaking earlier, Vishal Bali, Chief Executive Officer, Fortis Healthcare Global, said that India had over 2.5 million undiagnosed oncology patients, besides over 60 million diabetic patients.

S.K. Sundararaman, chairman, CII, Coimbatore Zone, Thavamani D. Palaniswami, Convenor, Healthcare Panel, CII, Coimbatore Zone, and S. Raja Sabapathy, Director, Ganga Medical Centre and Hospital, spoke.

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