Doctors’ associations urge Telangana govt to do away with certificate courses for RMPs and PMPs

A Raju, HyderabadWednesday, September 13, 2017, 08:00 Hrs  [IST]

Alleging that majority of Rural Medical Practitioners (RMPs) and Primary Medical Practitioners (PMPs) in rural areas are flouting the medical guidelines and regulations governing medical practice in rural areas, the Telangana Doctors’ Association and Junior Doctors Association in Telangana have represented to the state government to do away with the certificate courses being offered to RMPs and PMPS.

According to Dr. Srinivas, Senior Resident Doctor at Osmania General Hospital, the state government had issued a Government Order (GO) in the year 2015 and issued guidelines for the RMPs and PMPs to carryout basic medical treatment in rural areas in the absence of a registered medical practitioner.  However, the RMPs and PMPs are taking advantage of these guidelines and indiscriminately resorting to prescribing medicines and even taking up complex surgeries like conducting cesarean surgeries and abortions illegally by flouting the norms and guidelines set by the government as well as the medical regulations of Medical Council of India.  

“RMPs and PMPs are entitled to carry out only basic medical treatment like first aid in the case of emergencies. They are not supposed to do any kind of diagnosis for complex cases such as surgeries, instead they are supposed to refer the complex cases to bigger hospitals. However, what we are seeing these days is contrary to the set guidelines. Majority of RMPs and PMPs are flouting all these norms and playing havoc with the lives of poor patients in the rural areas. We want to bring this to the notice of the government and have asked the government to do away with the certificate course and asked not to provide any kind of training course to avoid untoward incidents of medical complexities,” said Dr. Srinivas.

The recent incidents of cases relating to illegal abortions being carried out by RMPs and PMPs in rural areas and cases relating to conducting of illegal appendix surgeries in some of the districts of Karimnagar, Hyderabad and Mahabubnagar have also become the cause for the Doctors’ Associations to raise the issue with the government. In view of this a delegation of doctors have met Rajeshwar Tiwari, Principal Secretary Health, government of Telangana and urged the government to cancel the earlier government order.  “We have insisted the government to take note of the illegal medical practices being carried out in the rural areas by the RMPs and PMPs and asked to stop it at the earliest,” informed a Senior doctor, representing the Doctor’s delegation to the government.

According to healthcare experts, the main reason for issuing a GO to allow RMPs and PMPs to carry out mild treatments in rural areas is because at present there is about 41 per cent shortage of doctors in the community health centers and a 13 per cent shortage in the public health centers. To fill this gap of doctors the doctors associations are demanding the government to carry out rotation based appointments every year so that the people in the rural areas can be treated effectively, without falling prey to the unqualified quacks.

Earlier, it is thought that to fill up the demand supply gap of doctors in rural areas, the government is trying and testing various ideas such as to provide certificate course to the RMPs and PMPs and train them to be eligible as recognized persons to carry out treatment in rural areas. However, the doctors’ associations are opposing to such kind of ideas by the government as it will backfire and put the safety of poor patients at stake.