December 12, 2017 4:09:46 am
With governments of Delhi and Haryana cracking down on private hospitals for alleged negligence and irregularities, the Indian Medical Association has recommended that doctors prescribe generic drugs or medicines on the National List of Essential Medicines (NLEM), wherever possible. NLEM drugs are under the government’s price control and generic medicines cost less than their branded alternatives.
IMA has about 3 lakh members, but its recommendations are not binding.
IMA president Dr K K Aggarwal said at a press meet on Monday, “Errors happen by accident and not intentionally. However, it is also time for the medical profession to introspect and come out with self-regulation procedures. We are often blamed for prescribing costly drugs. We also appeal to the government to come out with an urgent ordinance for one-drug, one-company, one-price policy. Doctors should actively participate in ensuring that no hospital sells any item priced higher than the MRP.”
“IMA recommends that all doctors prescribe preferably NLEM drugs. All doctors shall promote Jan Ausadhi Kendras (which sell generic drugs). We appeal to the government to classify all disposables under both NLEM and non-NLEM categories and cap the price of essential ones. Till then, medical establishments should sell the disposables at procurement price after adding a pre-defined fixed margin,” said the IMA recommendations.
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While Max Hospital, Shalimar Bagh, was penalised for allegedly declaring a living baby dead, Fortis Hospital, Gurgaon, is in trouble for alleged billing irregularities and charges of overcharging on consumables.
At present, there are no guidelines for Leave Against Medical Advice and IMA stated that it is currently developing a policy. At Fortis Hospital, Gurgaon, seven-year-old Aadya Singh died after allegedly being removed from the ventilator as the family insisted on Leave Against Medical Advice.
In an apparent reference to “packages” in private hospitals, Aggarwal said, “Hospital is not a hotel that rates are different for different room rents. It has to be clearly explained to patients at the time of admission.”
IMA has also called upon the government to subsidise costs in emergencies in the private sector and create a mechanism for reimbursement as “emergency care is the responsibility of the state government”.
📣 The above article is for information purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the guidance of your doctor or other qualified health professional for any questions you may have regarding your health or a medical condition.
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