The medical fraternity in India has expressed their dissent over the Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s remark in an interview in London. The Indian Medical Association (IMA), and the Association of Medical Consultants, Mumbai, have written an open letter to the PM.
In the letter, Dr RN Tandon, Honourary Secretary of IMA, stated, “Indian doctors have brought international acclaim and repute due to their world-class proficiency and skills. Engaging in small talk and maligning the entire medical fraternity in India with a broad brush on foreign soil was certainly not expected out of the Prime Minister of the country.’
In London, while answering to a question in an interview, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had made a comment about the nexus between the pharmaceutical companies and doctors. This remark has not gone down well with the doctors of the IMA.
Dr Ravi Wankhedkar, President of the IMA, said, “We are deeply anguished after hearing the statement of our beloved Prime Minister. Indian doctors are known worldwide for their clinical skills and knowledge. But, we could not understand as to why Prime Minister has made this statement.”
Dr Wankhedkar further said, “IMA has been demanding for ‘one company, one drug’ policy since long, and it is in the hands of the government to control the prices of drugs and medical implants. Why is the government not doing anything on this? That’s the question. Our demand is, why the government is not spending on strengthening and making the government healthcare more affordable? Why the government is not increasing the health budget?”
IMA had requested PM Modi to reply to the open letter which they have sent to him.
The IMA letter stated:
- The Indian Medical Association has declared its support for use of generic drugs. The only hitch is the issue of quality assurance. The current level of quality testing by the government is less than 1% of the total drugs manufactured. In such a state of affairs, how can doctors betray the confidence of a patient and support the populist posturing of the government
- IMA has supported and espoused the Jan Oushadhi Scheme of 2008. IMA itself has an outlet for Jan Oushadhi drugs. We assure you, Mr Prime Minister, the day you are able to assure the quality of all drugs manufactured in India, you will not find the doctors of this country wanting.
- India has a robust price control policy for drugs. This being said, so why does the government allow huge profit margins in the pharmaceutical industry?