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Doctors in Telangana threaten indefinite strike over govt decision to train PMPs & RMPs to serve as healthcare staff in rural areas

A Raju, Hyderabad
Wednesday, June 13, 2018, 08:00 Hrs  [IST]

With the Telangana State Paramedical Board (TSPB) announcing its decision to train the private medical practitioners (PMPs) and registered medical practitioners (RMPs) in accordance with a recent Government Order (GO) released by Telangana government, the doctors’ associations in Telangana such as Telangana Government Doctors Association (TGDA), Telangana Junior Doctors Association (TJUDA) and the Indian Medical Association unit of Telangana state, have threatened the government to go on an indefinite strike if the state government fails to roll back its decision to train unqualified people like RMPs and PMPs to serve as healthcare staff in rural areas.

“We have been vehemently opposing the state government’s decision to provide training to RMPs and PMPs right from the beginning. We demand the government to immediately roll back the GO-428 brought out by the government in 2015 aimed at providing training to RMPs and PMPs by the Telangana Paramedical Board. The government’s decision is unethical and is trying to take short-cut routes to overcome healthcare staff crunch in the rural areas. Instead, we demand the government to recruit more doctors and ensure a safe and most productive healthcare system in the state,” said Dr. P. Vijayender Reddy, chairman TJUDA.

Opposing the government’s move, the Telangana Government Doctors Association warned of a state wide strike boycotting all services if training programme to RMPs and PMPs is conducted by the TSPB at any of its centres in the state.

A combined delegation from JUDA, IMA-TS and TGDA met the top officials of Telangana State Paramedical Board and Telangana Vaidya Vidhana Parishad (TVVP) and clarified their stand on the government’s decision. “We have already been seeing instances where the RMPs and PMP have violated their line of control and had gone beyond their prescribed duties of confining themselves to first aid. Many of the occasions we have seen PMPs and RMPs prescribing medicines and even conducting surgeries in violation to the rules. If the government provides training to the RMPS and PMPs it will be a gross mistake on the part of the government as it will put the public health under high risk,” criticised Dr Reddy.

Taking a serious view of the government’s decision, the doctors’ associations have demanded the government drop the move and opposed the very concept of training practitioners and certifying them as professionals after a one-year course.

Earlier in June 2015, just one year after formation of Telangana state, the state government had released a GO-428 and directed the TSPB to start training for RMPs and PMPs under community paramedic training programme. As per the guidelines issued by the government, no RMP or PMP will be called as a doctor and name their working place as first aid centres instead of hospital or clinic. The PMPs and RMPS are also not allowed to dispense or prescribe any medicines except the over the counter medicines.

The government order also said that providing training to RMPS and PMPs is only to improve availability of qualified trained health providers in rural areas to attend to health needs of the rural community and to promote and improve better health status. However due to unknown reasons the government took 3 years to implement the GO, only to be opposed by the doctors community.

 

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