IMA urges health ministry to reduce regulatory control on healthcare sector

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The Indian Medical Association (IMA) has urged the Union health ministry to bring down the regulatory control on healthcare sector and to ease the guidelines, so that healthcare industry in the country can revive itself and help the nation overcome this pandemic.

In a memorandum to Union health secretary Preeti Sudan, the IMA stated that all policies have served to over regulate the healthcare profession and increase the cost of healthcare delivery. Private healthcare has been providing more than 80 per cent of the total healthcare services in the country as the government services are inadequate in the country at present.

“We represent approximately 3.5 lakh doctors of modern medicine and a majority of them are entrepreneurs who have set up small nursing homes in tier II and tier III towns. Most of the times these are being run by the couples who stay in the premises of their own hospitals and are available 24X7. Unfortunately for us, the successive policies are strangulating us leading to closure of nursing homes and people looking for alternate professions after spending a lifetime caring for the sick,” said Dr Rajan Sharma, national president, IMA.

IMA stated that these single, couple and multiple doctors owned nursing homes are one of the biggest employers in both the organized and unorganized sector whose presence and importance has never been taken into account.

“As you all are aware, the healthcare sector is facing severe shortage of trained healthcare staff. Even in the government sector, there are so many vacancies. We will overcome it by recruiting untrained manpower and their training takes years of effort, needless to say, to suitably reward them to elevate the financial and social status in the society,” added IMA president.

Sharma added, “This sector has never shirked its responsibility and will never do so. Poor or rich everyone prefers to go to the friendly neighbourhood doctors who have been providing the most economical health care in the most humane way giving relief to the population at large and sharing the burden of the overburdened government facilities. Most of the patients are known to the doctor personally and have a faith in him. A private sector doctor upgrades his knowledge by attending CMEs, workshops and conferences. These efforts should be seen as an effort not to stagnate, but to deliver the best according to his knowledge and for the patients’ betterment.”

Dr R V Asokan, honorary secretary general, IMA, said, “We need to seriously introspect why the entire medical fraternity is fighting on various issues like protection against violence, as it lead to unnecessary legal harassments which take long to settle, which may entail penal action against this vital links of healthcare providers. It is time to revisit this important and significant section of healthcare delivery system of modern medicine which is already there Pan-India and needs protections not creation. We are a regular and trusted partner in delivering various national health policies like end-TB and vaccination programme, etc.”

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