#EndTB: Pharmacists to get Rs 1,000 for treating TB patients

With an aim to eradicate tuberculosis, the union government has undertaken a decision to provide monetary incentives to doctors and pharmacist who treat TB patients. Per case doctors will be allotted Rs 500, while pharmacist will be allotted Rs 1,000. My Medical Mantra spoke to Dr Sunil Khaparde; Deputy Director General of central TB division regarding what is India’s strategy to fight against tuberculosis

#EndTB: Pharmacists to get Rs 1000 for treating TB patient

  • India continues to have the highest number of tuberculosis (TB) cases in the world, stated the Global TB Report 2017 released by World Health Organization (WHO).
  • 4 lakh people die due to TB every year
  • 29 lakh new TB cases are diagnosed per year
  • Elimination of TB is a mammoth task set before the union government
  • TB causes 20,000 crore loss to the state every year

Doctors and pharmacists who treat TB patients, will get monetary incentives of Rs 500 and Rs 1000 respectively from Union government. The union government has taken this decision with an aim to eradicate TB

Last week India hosted world TB specialists in Delhi TB summit. Wherein TB specialists from around the world, deliberated upon the strategy of how to eliminate the menace of TB. India is also facing a huge burden due to the TB menace.

What measures are being taken by the government to end the TB menace?

The government doesn’t have information in regards with how many people are being treated for TB in the private hospitals. In order to control the growing TB menace in the country, the government has taken a decision to give monetary incentives to the pharmacist and the doctors. Pharmacists who notify and treat TB patients will be awarded Rs 1000 and doctors will be given Rs 500 for notifying the TB patients

Last week India hosted TB experts from all over the world. What strategy has been discussed to end the TB menace?

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s dream is to eradicate TB from India by 2025. So, all the stakeholders should come together to achieve this goal. Pharmacists and chemists are the frontline workers in the anti-TB campaign. So, government has decided to take their help as well. Now onwards pharmacists will also work as DOTS providers. They have to help government in finding TB patients and treat them as well. They will have to submit a report to the government.

TB patients need nutrition support to fight with the disease. Is there any particular policy for this which is being discussed?

Nutrition and nutritious food plays a key role in TB management. Initial days are very important. Keeping that in mind, we have already implementing a policy to give free ration for TB patients. TB patients will get two month free ration and Multi Drug Resistant-TB patients will get free ration for one year

TB patients need psychological counselling to help them improve. Is the government thinking to start a helpline for TB patients?

Psychological counselling is a very important step in the TB management. Once, the patient is diagnosed TB, doctors and councillors to can help council them. But yes, government is contemplating setting up a helpline so that TB patients can be counselled during and after the treatment.

India is witnessing rise in cases of tuberculosis of the uterus. Is there any special policy for this?

Yes, cases of uterus TB are increasing in India. This can happen due to a number of miscarriages. Keeping sexual contact with a TB patient is also one of the reasons behind it. After observing a rise in numbers, the government has initiated a policy to curb the rising cases.