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Govt wakes to fleecing of patients by Valley docs
9/23/2017 11:01:10 PM
Minam Ahmad
Early Times Report

SRINAGAR, Sept 23: Tightening noose, the doctors are under vigil of the government, with authorities directing officials to stop medicos from fleecing patients. Deputy Commissioner Shopian has asked Tehsildars to overlook implementation of the government order asking them to put personal stamp and name on medical prescriptions.
Hoping it would "promote ethical practice" by the doctors in peripheral health centres, the Directorate Health Services Kashmir (DHSK), had directed them to disclose their identity on medical prescriptions.
The DC Shopian, in an order, has asked Tehsildars to "keep a strict vigil and report any violation/misdeed committed to cheat/fleece the patients".
"…Doctors have been directed to ensure that medicines shall be prescribed on the first page of the OPD ticket and last of all (3rd page) the diagnoses of the patient," reads the order.
An official said that the order was issued by the DC Shopian after receiving complaints from the people about fleecing of patients by the doctors.
"The Tehsildars have been asked to simply bring the violations of the order to our notice," the official said.
However, the doctors are fuming over the directions by the government and seeking revocation of the order.
The Doctors Association Kashmir termed it the "authoritarian attitude" of DC Shopian by asking Tehsildars instead of the concerned district-level health officers to overlook the order implementation.
"Such an order would undermine the good work of doctors in periphery," a spokesperson of the association said.
Alleging that "no checks and balances" were in place to route corruption in other departments in the district, the spokesperson said that the "overburdened" health department was being made a soft target by such an order.
In a statement by the Society of Consultant Doctors (SCD) Jammu and Kashmir against the order, the body has said that it "strongly objects on placement of junior-most revenue officials as watchdogs for the patient-care delivery".
"The DC is also undermining laid down rules by the Medical Council of India (MCI) regarding prescription writing and is trying to frame his own rules, which shows ignorance on part of DC," the statement alleged.
Recently the Health and Medical Education Department constituted a committee to implement a government order regarding ban on private practice by doctors.
Pawan Kotwal, Principal Secretary, Health and Medical Education Department has been appointed as chairman of the committee while Director Health Services Kashmir Saleem-ur-Rehman, Director AIDS Control Society Mushtaq Ahmad and Additional Secretary, Health and Medical Education Department Naseer Ahmad have been appointed as its members.
Various committees had been set up in the past for banning of private practice of doctors but their recommendations have not been implemented, an official of the Health and Medical Education Department said. A Jammu and Kashmir Legislative Assembly panel in 2012 called for imposition of ban on private practice of government doctors, particularly those posted in the Government Medical College Hospitals in the state.
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