Quite recently, the Indore local health department issued notices to allopathic hospitals asking them not to appoint non-MBBS doctors.
In the eyes of the law and governing guidelines, no allopathic hospital is permitted to appoint a doctor who has not graduated in modern medicine. In case of a violation, the institution in question may be liable to lose their license.
This guideline is apparently in force across several states of the country. In the light of this, we spoke to some of the leading healthcare providers and medical practitioners in the city.
Pune365 contacted the management of a few leading hospitals in the city to seek their response to this matter, however none of them responded.
“Legally speaking, clearly non-allopathy doctors cannot work in allopathic hospitals,” says city-based sleep specialist, ENT surgeon and National President of the Indian Association of Surgeons for Sleep Apnea, Dr Seemab Shaikh.
“But, there is two sides to the coin. Allopathic hospitals have a dearth of MBBS doctors, and in such cases, it is very difficult to have adequate number of doctors to treat the increasing patient load.
Doctors trained in other streams of medicine can be trained under experts and allowed to do the routine work and help ease the pressure.
“People who specialize in a particular stream will definitely be good at handling that best, and this is clearly, a stop gap kind of situation. This is just a method to see that basic services for the patient are not affected, inspite of the dearth of MBBS graduates,” he adds.
Dr Ravi Pratap, Emergency Medicine Specialist opines, “India is facing a major crisis with respect to its doctors. MBBS graduates are paid peanuts, so they invariably go for specialization.
“Hence there is a huge gap between the demand and supply of junior doctors/medical officers in any given hospital. Patients need to be looked after and this gap is filled by the non-allopathic doctors.
I personally believe that ‘something is better than nothing,” but the flip side to it, is that these doctors who have sound knowledge of human diseases are not formally trained in modern medicine. This definitely poses a threat to the quality of care,” adds Ravi Pratap.
“According to WHO, the ratio of doctors to patients in India is nearly 1:1200/1500 patients. Government health infrastructure is hugely inadequate in rural area,” says Dr Sanjay Oswal, Consulting Homeopathic Physician. Surgical and Emergency Medicine are two areas that are dealt with allopathic system. Government of India is encouraging this alternative method through the platform of AYUSH,” he adds.
Adding to this, Dr.Priti S.Gokani, D.H.M.S, Physician says, “Currently most of the hospital’s, especially nursing homes and secondary care level (30-40 beds) have appointed non-MBBS doctors. The reason behind this is the availability of doctors who gives their dedicated time at a comparative lower salary than the MBBS graduates. Also, MBBS doctors don’t prefer to work in such hospitals and they go for post graduate studies.
If the above rule is implemented across hospitals and if they are forced to remove or not appoint non MBBS doctors, we will definitely face lot of problems. The whole health sector will face tremendous pressure, as they won’t get doctors easy to manage the load of patients. Also in my opinion, MBBS doctors don’t always show as much dedication as we do and this is a known fact.
“Definitely we will face problems, and in today’s scenario it is not very easy to develop private practice. Just the daily expenses involved in private practice and the increasing property prices make it difficult.
Also, many of our doctors are better acquainted with work in hospitals, rather than private practice. At current inflation rates, we need to earn 40,000-50,000 monthly, to lead a comfortable family life. This comes only after years of practice and that too hardly to 25-30% of practitioners.
“Many doctors do night shifts in hospitals along with their practice in the initial years, to be able to match the cost of living. This rule if implemented will certainly pose huge problems to the health sector and all doctors” adds Dr. Gokani.
#All views expressed in this article are those of the individual respondents and Pune365 does not necessarily subscribe to them.
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