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Some thoughts on the recent developments involving doctors
Vishnu Mohan | 05 Sep 2012

Recently, there were some set of different news that appeared in the press concerning doctors and medicines. Some Governments have taken note of the fact that the prescription prescribed by the doctors are not properly readable because some doctors indulge in illegible handwriting. Therefore doctors have been requested to resort to writing prescriptions in a neat and clear handwriting to avoid any confusion or mistake by the reader in the medical shop.

FOR EXAMPLE, a prescription slip for ibuprofen 600 mg, with these notations: Sig: 1 po qid pc prn is directing the patient to take 1 tablet by mouth, four times a day, after meals, as needed.  With improper handwritten prescriptions, there could be confusions in the mind of the sales personnel working in the medicine shop which may mislead him to go for wrong options causing discomfort to patient.  Another solution would be to mandate every licensed doctor to go in for prescribing medicines through computed operated terminals (like a personal computer and a printer) which would contain all his details and there would be sufficient clarity in whatever has been written, reported The Times of India.

Such a move would also boost up PC and printer sales. Government can also plan to give subsidised loan at soft rates for buying these equipments to those doctors who may find it difficult to buy these with their own money. Another merit to be derived out of this move would be records can be kept clearly in the computers pertaining to each diagonised patient for future referalls.

In another set of encouraging news, Government is planning to mandate every aspiring doctor in the future to spend atleast six months in rural areas as part of his training before he is given full licence.  It would be in the fitness of things if the Government also takes care of the residential accommodation of doctors to be posted in rural areas which should be self contained with all the basic necessities. Since at village levels power breakdown is a frequent issue, therefore these accommodations should be fitted with back ups like geenrators or UPS which would mean doctors can spend their time comfortably in their allotted accommodation - such measures will motivate them to give their best not only during their mandated deputation but also induce them to come back to village level in the future of their own choice for pursuing their profession by serving the village people. 

Drug Controller General of India (DCGI) has written to the Union Health Minister to get rid of 92 antibiotic, TB drugs which would mean all these drugs cannot be sold across the counter in medical shops. Once notified, following clearance from the law ministry, these drugs cannot be sold without prescription. The drugs will also have to carry a prominent label in red colour on the left corner with the following warning: "It is dangerous to take this prescription except in accordance with medical advice and not to be sold by retail without the prescription of the registered medical practicioner". 

It is seen people pop pills at will and therefore resistance to antibiotics is becoming a seriious threat for India. Even the World Health Organisation (WHO) recently warned that the world is staring at a post-antibiotic era, when common infections will no longer have a cure. It would be in the fitness of things if patients are told very clearly by the doctors that almost all antibiotics have side effects and therefore to nullify the side effects, patients who are taking antibiotics should also take extra care in their daily food intake which should be properly balanced having of a mix of milk & dairy products (if required), different sets of fruits (if required), different sets of nuts (if required) and so on.  Concerned officials are requested to take note of these affirmatively.