23 October, 2020

Mea Culpa

The best way to ensure quality in government hospitals and schools is to make the bureaucrats go there as patients and parents.

Mea Culpa

It is a privilege to edit a magazine with a legacy of loyal letter writers. And it is a greater privilege to have letter writers who admonish the editor. I have been castigated, rather severely, for suggesting in one of my previous columns that government hospitals should be privatised. I must explain. Though I have only worked in the private sector and have suffered all its ignominious insecurities, I had championed the cause of the public sector to the extent that my stories in The Times of India had triggered a parliamentary debate on valuation of PSUs on the block, some 15-16 years ago. But not any longer. Now I believe that the private sector is far more productive and accountable than the government or its companies. A Narayana Murthy, or a Verghese Kurien or an Ela Bhatt would never have succeeded in a PSU where they would have been forced to kowtow to a puny joint secretary or a corrupt minister.

Yet, our letter writers are right and I am wrong. Health and education ought to be in the not-for-pro­fit sector. It was out of sheer disgust and frustration...



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