In Health Deptt, carpenter doing mason’s job
Unani practitioners prescribe allopathic medicines; Govt says ‘it’s illegal’
Srinagar, Aug 24: An old adage ‘carpenter’s hands for mason’s work’ holds true for the J&K Health Department where doctors registered for one system of medicine prescribe drugs of the other, thus risking the lives of patients.
In the wake of ‘rising complaints’ that AYUSH doctors are prescribing allopathic medicine, particularly antibiotics and tonics without having sufficient expertise in the same, the Department has now shot off a stringent circular, seeking end to the malpractice.
The circular No. DISM/PMU/CIR/09—signed by at least four top officers of the Health Department—threatens strict action against any medical officer prescribing medicine from systems other than he or she is registered to.
“Action will also be taken against any officer who is seen to be encouraging this practice,” the 2-page circular, shot to all institutions under the ambit of the Department, reads.
Official sources disclosed that the circular comes in the backdrop of “recurring complaints that Unani doctors, who mostly happen to be in health centres overnight, are prescribing antibiotics and other allopathic drugs to patients.” “Doing this is completely illegal,” said a senior officer in Health Department. “This is in contravention to the basic objective of integrating and mainstreaming of AYUSH under the National Rural Health Mission (NRHM).”
As per the circular, the NRHM took a strategic intervention of mainstreaming of AYUSH. “The objective is to reinforce the existing public health care delivery system with the use of natural, safe and friendly remedies which are time tested, accessible and affordable. Accordingly total integration between AYUSH dispensaries/hospitals and healthcare facilities under the allopathic system has been taken up so that the entire spectrum of treatment is available to patients at affordable costs,” the circular reads. “However, it has been observed that some AYUSH doctors posted in allopathic institutions prescribe allopathic drugs which is a serious violation of law.”
So far the Health Department has already issued two orders which impress upon the AYUSH doctors to stick to prescribing their own system of medicine. The orders (308-HME of 2006 dated 17.5.2006 and 257-HME of 2009 dated 18.06.2009) make it amply clear that doctors registered for one system of medicine cannot prescribe the medicine of the other system and that defaulters would be liable for action. “But the orders have found little implementation on ground, leading to sacking of an AYUSH doctor and shifting of few others recently,” the sources said.
Official sources put part of blame on the allopathic doctors, who happen to quit district and sub-district hospitals in the evenings to evade night shifts. “This is one of the problems. Many allopathic doctors quit health centres in the evenings. This can be one of the reasons why AYUSH doctors prescribe allopathic medicine. But this is no excuse. This can sometime prove extremely fatal, especially in the wake of their prescribing antibiotics and other vital drugs. They don’t have knowledge about these drugs, which simply means risking the lives of patients. And there are many AYUSH doctors who unnecessarily try to compare themselves with allopathic doctors when both happen to be the masters in their own field.”
The circular now threatens serious action if the practice is not stopped. “No person other than a medical practitioner enrolled on a state medical register shall practice modern scientific medicine as per section 15 (2) (b) of the Indian Medical Council Act of 1956,” the circular reads.
The circular has been signed by Director Health Services Kashmir Saleem-ur-Rehman, Director Health Services Jammu Dr Ashok Sharma, Dr Yashpal Sharma Mission Director NRHM and Dr Abdul Kabir Dar, Director Indian System of Medicine and Homeopathy J&K.
“It is impressed upon all doctors of modern scientific systems of medicine (AYUSH and allopathic systems) to stick to prescribing the system of medicine for which they are registered. Any deviation will be viewed seriously,” the circular reads.
Lastupdate on : Wed, 24 Aug 2011 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Wed, 24 Aug 2011 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Thu, 25 Aug 2011 00:00:00 IST
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