Health activists seek strict implementation of prescription guidelines to prevent revenue loss & improve health outcome

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Health activists have appealed to the Maharashtra government to ensure implementation of model medicine prescription format in letter and spirit to improve health status of the state and prevent revenue loss due to understatement of earnings by medical practitioners.

It has been four years since the state government came out with medicine prescription format to safeguard citizens’ health but very few medical professionals are following it. The state has 1,53,513 doctors registered with the Maharashtra Medical Council.

Taking serious note of it, health activist Prasad Waghmode has written to Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis seeking stringent implementation of model medicine prescription guidelines in the interest of patients.

The format guidelines are as per the Medical Council of India guidelines and include doctor’s full name, his/her qualification, patient’s details, name of the generic medicine or its equivalent along with the dosage, strength, dosage form and instruction, name and address of medical store with pharmacist’s name and date of dispensing, and doctor’s signature and stamp.

As per guidelines, doctors are required to keep a copy of prescription after issuing it to the patients. If records are maintained properly, medicos cannot understate income to the exchequer, said Waghmode.

It is learnt that around 80 per cent doctors practising medicine do not provide fee receipt to patients which could lead to a revenue loss of Rs.20,000 crore to the exchequer in 100 cities of Maharashtra.

There has been an increase in doctors’ consultation fees in the state day-by-day to the tune of Rs.100-Rs.500, fee receipts are given to patients in hospitals, nursing homes but most of the patients visiting single doctor clinic do not get fee receipt, he added.

In Nanded, there are 300 medical professionals handling more than 200 patients each in a day. The doctors running OPD in the district charge a patient Rs.300, thus total income of these 300 doctors’ in the district stands at Rs.1.8 crore a day which will lead to Rs.657 crore for a year and 80 per cent of doctors in Nanded do not provide fee receipt to patients. If we consider 100 cities of Maharashtra like Nanded, the amount stands at Rs.65,700 crore. The government could get around Rs.20,000 crore revenue by imposing 30 per cent income tax on it, he opined.

Besides independent medical practitioners, there are a significant number of hospitals not providing fee receipt to patients thus causing revenue loss to the exchequer, said health activist and pharmacist Kailas Tandale.

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