09 December 2010
By Nozia Sayyed
A section of the city’s medical fraternity is upset with the Medical Council of India (MCI) for issuing fresh guidelines on the maintenance of detailed records of HIV-positive patients and their line of treatment.
Private doctors have questioned the rationale of the MCI in issuing such a directive to them since they refer all HIV cases to government hospitals for treatment.
Former president of the Indian Medical Association (IMA), Pune, Dr Avinash Bhondwe said, "We hardly get any HIV–positive patients and private practitioners are not known to treat these patients. Then why were these set of guidelines for maintaining details been issued?"
President of IMA, Pune, Dr Sharad Agarkhedkar, told DNA, "Even if an HIV–positive patient turns up at a clinic or a hospital, he is immediately referred to the anti–retroviral therapy centre set up by the government. We do not treat HIV–positive patients."
However, he added that the new guidelines issued by the MCI were welcome as they would help in creating national data on HIV/AIDS.
Administrator of the state unit of MCI, Dr DN Lanjewar said the guidelines were issued by the National AIDS Control Society (NACO) on the instructions of the Supreme Court. "The MCI’s role is restricted to circulating the guidelines among doctors and carrying out surprise checks to ensure whether they are adhering to the rules or not," he said.
A few months ago, the Supreme Court had heard a case on improper treatment of an HIV patient following which the apex court had issued a directive to NACO.
"However, this will help us know the exact number of patients on first and second lines of therapy. The guidelines demand that detailed records and data of the patient and therapy must be maintained. Information on the medicine and combination therapies too should be mentioned in the record. This will help in avoidance of drug resistance cases," said Dr Lanjewar.
In case of failure to maintain the data of the patients at a clinic, the MCI would take stringent action against the concerned doctor, added Dr Lanjewar.
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