Collusive Behaviour in Healthcare Delivery in India: Need for Effective Regulation (COHED Project)

What’s New

Access to healthcare, which has been universally recognized as a basic human need as well as an inalienable right, has sought to be ensured in India through constitutional commitments. However, these commitments have not been translated into appropriate policies and effective practice and more than 50 percent of population does not have access to essential medicine because of simple lack of availability or unaffordable prices. Even when there is access, quality is often suspect as poor recipients of health services often get entangled in a vicious cycle involving commercially motivated doctors, pharmacists and diagnostic clinics, who compromise on medical treatment to maximize their own revenues.

Such malpractices in health delivery are abetted by a weak regulatory environment coupled with structural factors. These imperfections in the market for medical services (especially in the absence of proper regulatory oversight and strict enforcement) often lead to proliferation of market malpractices at various levels resulting in poor market outcomes. Such market failure calls for identification of necessary remedial action, a closer monitoring and regulation of the private sector.

This project is an attempt towards identifying more accurately the source and nature of such medical malpractices and their impacts on consumers. It would highlight various distortions in health care delivery system in the country and provide inputs to policy community as well as other stakeholders for taking necessary actions to curb such practices. An attempt would be made to explore the possibility of using the Indian Competition Act to clamp down these practices.


This project is an attempt in improving the affordability and quality of health care in India, especially for the poor by generating recognition among the government, media and the Medical Council of India (MCI) about the relationship between incidence of anticompetitive practices/malpractices and poor quality of healthcare services.

The following are the specific objectives of this initiative:

  • Performing advocacy among relevant organizations to garner support for research aimed at identification of medical malpractices in the health sector
  • Determining market malpractice in the health sector.
  • Assessing the scope and effectiveness of the present regulatory system, especially the competition law to deal with the above concerns
  • Making recommendations for better regulatory outcomes, given the above concerns.
  • Spreading awareness about these recommendations so to lay the ground for their implementation

What’s New

Unholy Alliances in Healthcare Services

COHED Research Report


Health Updates

Doctors not giving patients enough time, says WHO

Times of India, April 24, 2011


Press Room

Rx Track those pills
The Telegraph, November 07, 2011

Doctors-pharma companies harming patients
Assam Tribune, October 22, 2011

CUTS International


Oxfam India