Govt cracks whip on Pvt practice by doctors to halt referrals

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Srinagar: Sending a stern message to doctors doing private practice, the Jammu and Kashmir Government on Thursday barred five medicos from undertaking private practice to put a halt on referrals from government to private hospitals.

This is, according to top sources, first in a series of such doctors to be barred amid allegations of referring patients from government run hospitals to private hospitals in gross violation of rules.

Sources said it has come to the notice of the government that many doctors working in government hospitals were referring patients to private hospitals allegedly against monetary considerations.

The present inquiry ordered by the government against five doctors may remove lid from the illegal practice which is impacting implementation of treatment under important health schemes including PMJAY and SEHAT.

Notably, as per the government order, the doctors barred from private practice include Dr Tufail Ahmad Lone of SDH Pattan, Dr Noorudin Shah of PCR Srinagar, Dr Mudasir Shahdar of SDH Magam, Dr Farooq Ahmad of SDH Tangmarg and Dr Ishfaq Ahmad Parrah of PHC Hajin.

The government has also constituted a committee tasked to carry in-depth inquiry into the issue related to referral from Public hospitals to private hospitals for availing treatment/benefits under AB-PMJAY and SEHAT Schemes.

As already reported by this newspaper, the government has put a spotlight on its healthcare with an aim to decrease the burden of referrals on the hospitals in towns and cities.

Over the past many years, the hospitals and government medical colleges would receive referral cases owing to the non-availability of the health centres or healthcare facilities in the rural areas.

The unnecessary referrals would always overburden the doctors and paramedics at premiere hospitals in the City as the patients would not get treatment for their ailments in district hospitals.

"The government is putting in efforts to do away with the referral system from government hospitals in rural areas to cities and towns. But on the other hand some doctors refer patients to the private hospitals which is totally unacceptable," a top official in the health and medical education department said.

He said the Government of India (GoI) has pumped a whopping amount of money and the J&K government has also set up scores of health and wellness centres in rural areas only to decrease the referral cases.

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