Published On : Mon, Aug 17th, 2015

National Medical Stores functioning against medical ethics

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Nagpur:

In general if any customer visits any medical stores with the slip of prescribed medicines the medical stores keeper supplies the prescribed medicines to the customer and should issue bills. But, there is National Medical Stores at Mayo Square near Central Avenue in the city which functions irresponsibly against medical ethics with the customers.

It was the morning of Aug 17 when 2-3 patients visited the National Medical Stores and asked for replacement of the medicines as prescribed by doctors. The medical store owner/ worker/ staff (one cannot say whether he was medical diploma holder, D Pharm, or not) refused to replace the medicines and drove out the customers in an insulting manner, saying, “Medicines once sold will not be accepted back by the medical store.” Such an attitude of the said medical store is against medical ethics and deserves cancellation of licence of the shop.

The very first thing is, it is doubtful whether the staff employed in National Medical Stores is duly qualified, that is to say, whether they are diploma holders in medical practice and whether they have been taught medical ethic to replace medicines as directed by the medical professionals, and also to behave courteously with customers. It may be mentioned that there may be very few medical stores in the city which have duly qualifies staff. What is also seen is non-diploma holders supply the prescribed medicines to customer, but in case the prescribed medicine is not available, they supply some non-prescribed medicine claiming that it has the same contents as in prescribed medicine, and common customer hardly pays any heed to it and accepts the medicine given to him. Not only this, only 10-15% medical shop-keepers issue bills for sold out medicines while others simply collect money from customers as cost of medicine sold out.

It has been an old convention in the medicine market that in case the medicine as prescribed by any doctor or hospital does not work or has some contra effect, the remaining portion of tablets, capsules, etc, is returned to the medical stores, and then either the medicine is exchanged with some other one or difference of money is returned to the customer, provided the medicine has been purchased from the same shop.

But, National Medical Stores has surpassed this ethics. It neither issues bills, nor replaces medicines. On the other hand, it scolds the customers and shows lack of interest in replacing the medicine if customer insists on it, and fails to return the difference of money in terms of cost of medicine. It thus becomes necessary for the customers to ask for the bill of medicines in case they happen to buy any medicine from National Medical Stores, and also take the medicine on the guarantee of return to the shop-keeper if required to do so.

Even medical practitioners fail to issue receipt
It is worth mentioning that even maximum medical practitioners do charge their fees for examining any case but fail to provide receipt of payment received. The medical profession has become so unethical and torturous that the practitioners/ experts stock their prescribed medicines in their self-interested medical stores where the medicine is sold out on MRP basis, with no discount; they get the patients examined by their juniors, yet charge fees as charged by expert consultant and give no receipt for the frees so charged. Even if any receipt is handed over, it bears no registration number, and thus they escape the income tax on their earning.

Medical practitioners sans medical ethics
If one goes to any medical expert, one is bound to get trapped by him. For one ailment or problem, the expert would ask him get so many other related examinations/ tests done, that too within his networking, and not from outside or from any other doctor who is not in his network. As a result, the patient is put under heavy medical expenditure. All these things are done under the boastful claim of ‘medical awareness of modern times.’ The patients would be called after every fortnight or month, and the same tests would be repeated to mint money. For example, a skin specialist, practising at Sadar would call his patients every after 15 or 30 days, and get their blood tests in a variety of range done at Shanti Nursing Home, Sadar, where the fees are charged mercilessly in four figures without any receipt. The patients are thus helpless but to remain trapped, and praying God for early relief. The modern doctors prescribe costlier medicines recommended by latest upcoming medicinal industries through their MRs.
Just to make a passing reference, height of cruelty in medical profession is witnessed in the cases where the clinically dead patient is put on ventilators by charging high fees in thousands, again in the name of last hope and medical advancement.

Rajeev Ranjan Kushwaha (rajeev.nagpurtoday@gmail.com)