In a letter written to the PM, a copy of which is with TOI, the doctors’ body has suggested internal audit of all implants done at hospitals and adopting a second-opinion approach, which basically means at least two or more doctors should certify need for interventional approach.
Dr G S Grewal, secretary of DMA, told TOI they have taken this step to stop the perception that doctors fleece money from patients by doing needless procedure or using costly implants. “We are asking the government to mandate further regulation on cost of devices, second-opinion approach or even an internal audit — whatever it takes for them to scrutinise us,” he said.
He added that the nexus between the device manufacturers and government officials is the real reason for the crisis. “There are medicines that are sold at a maximum retail price of Rs 300 when their real cost is less than Rs 30. Who allows this? Similar is the situation with many devices. Our regulatory bodies have failed in their job and they need to be held accountable for the crisis emerging out of their laxity,” the DMA secretary said.
DMA has asked the prime minister for an appointment in their letter, sent on Monday. “We want to discuss his participation in the important issue to save the most precious doctor-patient relationship, which is at stake because of activities of a very few bizarre incidences,” said a doctor.
He added that by law the cost of cardiac stents and various other devices like prosthesis, lens and implants, for example, are regulated by various government authorities and medical professionals are not involved in it. “DMA strongly supports, welcomes and urges the government to bring all these under price control so that they can be made easily available at affordable price,” DMA members said.
In Delhi, the state government is working on a policy to cap profit margins for hospitals, which is likely to be announced this week, sources said. A first for any state, the policy will cover sale of medicines, consumables and devices to patients.