With two private hospitals in the Delhi-National Capital Region in the dock for alleged medical negligence, the Indian Medical Association on Monday said doctors should come up with “self-regulation” procedures to earn back the trust of patients, The Hindu reported.
The association, an umbrella body of doctors across India, suggested that doctors start prescribing generic drugs, which are cheaper than branded alternatives, and medicines that are on the National List of Essential Medicines as their prices are controlled by the government. The IMA’s recommendations, however, are not binding.
On December 8, a private hospital in Delhi’s Shalimar Bagh lost its licence after it wrongly declared a baby dead. Two days later, Gurugram’s Fortis Hospital was charged with culpable homicide after a government panel found that gross negligence caused the death of a seven-year-old girl in September.
At a press conference on Monday, IMA President Dr KK Aggarwal said, “It is time for the medical profession to introspect and come out with self-regulation procedures.”
Aggarwal said hospitals should not force targets on its consultants and that doctors, not the hospital management, should decide the drug to be prescribed to the patient, according to The Hindu. “Doctors should actively participate in ensuring no hospital sells any item priced higher than the Market Rate Price,” he said.
It was “disheartening” to see that the doctor-patient trust was on a “downward spiral”, Aggarwal said, according to The Indian Express. “People are looking at the medical profession with suspicion... and we want to make it more transparent.”
The IMA has also asked state governments to subsidise costs for emergency care.