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Emergencies in pvt hospitals should be subsidised: IMA

NEW DELHI: In the wake of alleged medical negligence and overcharging by two private hospitals of the city, the Indian Medical Association (IMA) on Monday urged state governments to subsidise emergency treatment at private hospitals and create an effective mechanism for reimbursements.
The Association also said no hospital can force their consultants to work on targets and the choice of drugs and devices should rest with doctors based on affordability of a patient and not the management.
IMA president Dr KK Aggarwal said, "The doctor-patient trust is experiencing a 'downward spiral' in the country, as people are looking at the medical profession with suspicion."
Referring to the Max Hospital incident, he said, "Such errors happened by accident and not intentionally. Having said this, it is time for the medical profession to introspect and come out with self-regulation procedures. From today, all doctors in the country shall choose affordable drugs."
"We also appeal to the state governments 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 Market Rate Price (MRP). No service charges should be added to procure drugs from outside. The MRP shall not be dictated by the purchaser," he said.
The IMA chief also announced the formation of IMA Medical Redressal Commission at the state level to engage in social, financial and quality audits of healthcare.
The commission will comprise a public representative, an IMA office bearer, a former state medical council representative and two subject experts, he said.
"Such a commission shall consider every grievance in a time-bound manner. An appeal to the state commission will be heard by the headquarters of IMA Medical Redressal Commission, which will also have the power to take suo moto cases," Aggarwal explained.
The professional body of doctors also recommended the medical practitioners to prescribe National List of Essential Medicines (NLEM) drugs and promote Jan Aushadhi kendras.
It also appealed to state governments to classify all disposables under NLEM and non-NLEM categories and cap the price of essential ones.
"Till then, all medical establishments should sell the disposables at procurement prise, after adding a predefined fixed margin.
"All doctors should ensure that hospital estimates at the time of admission are near to the actual cost. Emergency care is the responsibility of a state government and it should subsidise the costs of all emergencies in private sector, and create a mechanism for reimbursement," Aggarwal said.
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