State

HC order on computerised prescription

HC order on computerized prescription could add Rs 15 crore burden on State exchequer

The Uttarakhand High Court order on compulsion of computerised prescriptions for all doctors of the State and its direction to State Government to ensure that a computer and printer is provided to every medical practitioner serving in Government hospitals and health centres could put an additional burden of over Rs 15 crore on the State exchequer if implemented. The cost would further go up when the annual maintenance charges for the computers and their accessories are added up. There are 2,775 sanctioned posts of doctors in the State health services and there are many medical officers in the State Health Service who are not adept in handling computers. The High Court in an important decision on Friday had said that doctors should provide printed prescriptions to patients so that they can understand the medicines and line of treatment. The court gave time for implementation of the order but made it clear that till then the doctors should use capital letters in the prescription for the convenience of the patients. The High Court directed the doctors to write only the generic name of the medicine. When contacted, the Director General (DG) of medical health and family welfare department, Dr TC Pant told The Pioneer that the department has not received the order of the court yet. The secretary of the Indian Medical Association (IMA), the association of private medical practitioners, Dr DD Chaudhury said that the association has no objection on the order of High Court. “Many doctors are already using the computer printed prescriptions and those not having computers would use capital letters. There is no problem,’’ he said. The IMA secretary, however, was apprehensive of the order on compulsion of generic medicines. He said that the staff working in almost all chemist shops are not qualified and in such a scenario prescribing generic medicine by the doctors could prove harmful for the patients. Meanwhile, the High Court order has made most of the medical practitioners apprehensive. A senior medical officer deployed in a Government hospital said, “We can write in capital letters in the prescription but it would consume lot of time. Here you have to cater to more than 120 patients daily during OPD hours while according to the norms of MCI, a doctor should not examine more than 40 patients in a day. The court should intervene here also and fix the maximum number of OPD patients.” Monday, 17 September 2018 | PNS | Dehradun–

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