Hopeful getting some support from the new prime minister to the medical professionals and the small and medium scale healthcare establishments in the country, the Medicos Legal Action Group (MLAG), a forum of allopathic doctors based at Chandigarh in Punjab, has written to Narendra Modi to initiate measures to streamline and develop the healthcare sector and the medical professionals.
The forum wanted the PM to stop implementation of the clinical establishment act (CEA) till a consensus is arrived at between the healthcare institutions and the government. On behalf of the MBBS doctors in the country, MLAG wanted that before implementing the act, adequate consultation should be made on the undesirable fall outs of the act, said the letter.
Later, while speaking to Pharmabiz over telephone, Dr Neeraj Nagpal, convener of the forum and the director of Hope Gastrointestinal Diagnostic Clinic, Chandigarh, said that a large number of the MBBS doctors are self employed in various parts of the country and they are fragmented and unorganised. The corporate hospital lobbies in the country had influenced the previous government to bring in the clinical establishment act in order to kill the small and medium scale healthcare institutions, he alleged. Likewise, the Consumer Protection Act (CPA) should be amended in order to avoid the clause for maximum compensation which can be demanded in the event of negligence.
The letter goes on waning the government that it should rethink on the introduction of B Sc community health, but concentrate on increasing the number of vacancies for MBBS doctors by bringing up more PHCs in interior villages. If large number of MBBS doctors is employed in PHCs in rural areas, the need for a separate cadre of rural doctors (B Sc community health) will not arise. The number of PHCs at present in the country is about 28000, which has to be raised to 70,000.
The prime minister has also been requested to extend income tax benefits to hospitals working in small towns and villages with less than 25 beds. The government must strictly implement the anti-quackery law and stop Ayush doctors from prescribing allopathic drugs. Dr Neeraj argues that if Ayush doctors are practising allopathy, then there is no need of ayush colleges which have to be closed, and in place allopathic medical colleges should be opened.
MLAG alleges that the previous government had a bad intention to destroy the established medical institutions in the country and they chose to kill them by various methods such as the introduction of BSc community health, compulsory rural service for MBBS doctors, clinical establishment act , dissolution of MCI, permission to Ayush doctors to practice allopathy and unlimited compensation for medical negligence.