Nagpur:It appears the flourishing and money-minting doctors in Nagpur do not like the idea of keeping a check on their cut practice. Probably which is why Indian Medical Association (IMA)’s Nagpur branch does not see any need for such an act when regulating bodies like the Maharashtra Medical Council, the Medical Council of India, Consumer Protection Act and Human Rights Commission exist and “are joining their job well”.
IMA president Dr Vaishali Khandait said that the government should first clarify whether medicine was a technical profession, commercial establishment or business. “Corporate hospitals which are actually business models are not covered under the act whereas solo practitioners and small nursing homes are forcibly brought under it,” she said.
Secretary Prashant Rathi said that instead of formulating a new act, there was a necessity to strengthen the existing bodies who already have judicial powers. “Of course, there is need to redefine certain grey areas,” he said.
Dr Prakash Deo, said that as per the proposed draft the competent authority to act is anti-corruption department of police. “Giving the police, these powers, is like introducing police raj. Since the act claims that the name of the complainant would not be discloses it indirectly means that anyone can blackmail any doctor,” he said.
According to Dr Deo, the IMA was itself against any unethical practice and had a grievance cell. “There is no clear definition of ‘cut practice’. The definition should be negative to determine what doesn’t constitute cut practice. Any doctor refers to any other specialist on whom he/she has trust. Now, doctors will just refer a patient to a cardiologist and let him wander in search of one,” said Dr Deo.
Dr YS Deshpande said that there was need for police to act on public servants and doctors were not public servants. “The new law would be unconstitutional as ultimately it will go against the interest of patient as it will deny the patient,” he said.
Dr Milind Naik said that no law alone can change the behaviour of the people. Hence, there was a need for an in-depth study of existing practices with data to create a new law. “Shouldn’t there be rules of ethics for the corporate sector too,” he asked.
Dr Mangesh Gulwade, MMC’s ethical committee convener said that introduction of any Act does not become a sacrosanct solution for any problem. “Experience of PCPNDT Act, MTP Act and Act against violence of medical professionals has proved this. An Act is not a panacea to resolve all issues,” he said.
Dr Avinash Wase, Dr Sanjay Deshpande, Dr Dilip Agrawal, Dr, Ashish Disawal, Dr Anil Laddhad also spoke on the occasion.