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"Notification on CME For Doctors Not Being Implemented"

The Hindu
06 December 2011
Chennai India

The Centre's notification that doctors should complete 30 hours of continuing medical education (CME) every five years is not being implemented, said C. M. K. Reddy, president, Tamil Nadu Medical Practitioners' Association. "It roughly works out to something like one hour of CME every two months," he added.

Speaking at a seminar on 'Is healthcare in India really patient–centric?' organised here recently by the Consumers Association of India, Dr. Reddy said: "The first step to implement this notification will be for the Medical Council of each State to identify organisations that can be given the authority to issue such certificates."

Pointing out that setting up a hospital was easy as it did not require a licence, he said several representations have been made to the Union Health Ministry to implement the Clinical Establishment Act and regulate advertisements relating to healthcare.

S.Rangaswami, Vice Chancellor, Sri Ramachandra University, highlighted the importance of treating patients with a personal touch despite the advanced levels of technology available in the medical field. "Currently, less than 1.12 per cent of GDP is going towards healthcare. This figure should be increased to three per cent in 2012 and to six per cent by 2030," he observed.

Since a substantial percentage of the population pays out of pocket for health expenses, universal insurance is needed, he added. Students of JBAS College for Women, who had surveyed more than 100 persons on their perceptions of healthcare, presented their findings at the seminar. The survey report said that the respondents wanted hospitals to inform patients about their rights.

Notification on CME For Doctors Not Being Implemented

While only 74 per cent agreed that prescribing branded drugs was commercialising healthcare, many preferred to visit those hospitals which had received national or international accreditation.

A.Dhavapalani from Apollo Hospitals said that clinical audits that look at a clinician's practice and performance should be implemented in the country.

S.Saroja, legal coordinator, Citizen Consumer and Civic Action Group, said that at present acquiring accreditation is voluntary for hospitals. "Thus, the onus lies on the consumers to prove negligence. For this, a minimum standard of guidelines should be laid down for all hospitals," she said.

With accreditation comes better maintenance of documents and hospitals records, observed J.Damodaran from Sri Ramachandra University.

CAI Secretary–General G.Rajan and Director, Food Safety, CONCERT, G.Santhanarajan spoke. The seminar was organised in association with the National Rural Health Mission.

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