The Indian Medical Association (IMA) on Monday urged the government to subsidise the cost of treatment in emergency cases in private hospitals and ensure a strong mechanism for reimbursements.
"(Handling medical) emergency cases is the responsibility of the state governments. The government should subsidise cost borne on all such emergencies in the private sector and create a mechanism for reimbursements," IMA President K.K. Aggarwal told the media here.
He said a new body called the 'IMA Medical Redressal Commission' will be constituted at the state level to engage in social, financial, and quality audits of healthcare (suo motu, or on demand).
"The commission will have a public man, an IMA office-bearer, one former state medical council representative, and two subject experts," said Aggarwal, adding that the commission shall consider every grievance in a time-bound manner.
"An appeal to the state commission will be heard by the "IMA-headquartered Medical Redressal Commission" which will have the powers to take suo motu cases also," said the IMA official.
The IMA, a consortium of doctors across India, also demanded no compulsion from private hospital managements to make their doctors work vis-a-vis targets and prescribe the choice of drugs and devices.
"The consultants should suggest devices to patients as per their affordability and not as per the management," said Aggarwal.
Aggarwal was speaking in the wake of medical negligence cases against Gurugram's Fortis and north Delhi's Max Super Specialty Hospital.
Pointing out that the doctor-patient trust was experiencing a downward spiral, the IMA chief said that people have started looking at medical professionals with suspicion.
Referring to the November 30 incident at Max hospital wherein a premature newborn was wrongly declared dead by doctors, Aggarwal said: "Errors happen by accident and are not intentional."
"It is also high time for medical professionals to introspect and come out with self-regulation procedures. From today onwards, all doctors in the country shall choose affordable drugs for prescription," he said.
He said the IMA had recommended that all doctors prescribe drugs on the National List of Essential Medicines, wherever possible, and promote Jan Aushadhi kendras.