The cases of doctors being assaulted by the patients’ families created quite a stir in Maharashtra. It still remains a volatile issue. To highlight the atrocities faced by the medical fraternity, IMA has arranged Dilli Chalo Movement on June 06. More than 4,000 doctors from Maharashtra are associated with IMA. The IMA chairperson of Maharashtra, Dr Ashok Tambe exclusively spoke with My Medical Mantra and explained the doctors’ point of view.
Attacks Indian doctors have been highlighted by the World Medical Association. What steps can be taken to prevent these attacks?
Maharashtra Medicare Service Persons and Medicare Service Institutions Act, was put in place in 2010. Despite the act being there, it has not created any deterrence for the culprits who resort to initiate attacks on doctors. It is important to put a system in place which will prevent such actions at the first step. 55 cases have been registered since the formation of the act but there is no conviction. Sometimes when the attacks are reported to police, they are not aware of the act, this only makes things worse. That is why it is important to sensitize police about the attacks on the doctors. Maharashtra Medicare Service Persons and Medicare Service Institutions Act (popularly known as Doctor’s Protection Act) should be included in the police syllabus. So that when a police will come out of the training centre he/she will have sensitive approach towards the attacks on doctors.
Doctor and patient relationship has been hit lately. Do you think it is because of the communication gap between them?
Doctor’s basic duty is to treat patients. They are always under huge pressure because of these responsibilities. In addition to this, there is immense work load on a doctor. That is why doctors don’t have time to talk to patient’s relatives and inform them about developments. It is necessary to have Communication officer to bridge this gap. In western countries you see this posting of non-medico officer. Corporate hospitals may afford to appoint these officers but ultimately the cost will be paid from patient’s pocket.
How can we make healthcare affordable to patients?
There should be reform in the rules and regulations to set up a hospital for doctors. There is a lengthy procedure for registration. That’s why doctors may refrain from setting up a private hospital. Private hospitals are more important for middle class, who doesn’t want to go to government hospital and can’t afford treatment in corporate hospital.
IMA has come forward strongly against crosspathy (homeopathy/ayurveda doctors prescribing allopathy) lately. What is your stand?
We oppose this practice. How can doctors who are not trained in modern medicines treat patients? A MBBS doctor has to undertake 5 years graduate course and then professional training to be able to treat a patient. Crosspathy is not the proper way to compensate the crisis of doctors.
What is your take on generic medicines?
Generic medicines are usually not prescribed because of their lack of availability. If a doctor prescribes generic medicines, where will patient run about to get those? Their accessibility is an issue. The problem is doctors do not have confidence in them.