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Southern States - Tamil Nadu-Chennai Printer Friendly Page   Send this Article to a Friend

`Doctors should not suppress information from patients'

By Our Staff Reporter

CHENNAI SEPT. 13. Medical professionals should learn not to suppress information from patients, according to R. Desikan, trustee, Consumer Association of India.

Mr. Desikan, participating in a three-day national conference on modern techniques and administration in health care, urged the corporate hospitals to be transparent while prescribing tests.

Often consumers who went to corporate hospitals were rarely told why they had to take tests or medicines prescribed for them. It was necessary for the hospitals to disclose these facts to patients. Such a transparency would induce faith in the medical institution. Also, if a consumer mentioned that he was covered by an insurance company, like the Mediclaim policy, then his bill was grossly overcharged. He suggested that corporate hospitals adopt detailed billing that would tell the patient how much was spent on every area of treatment.

He urged the corporate hospitals and medical professionals to sponsor setting up of an advertising standards authority to prevent unethical advertisements about cures and treatments offered, including claims by alternative medical systems, and about medical facilities in a hospital.

The Treasurer, TN Nurses Association, Jothi Clara Michael, said hospitals found it a challenge to set up an ethical committee for patient care though such committees for students were in place in teaching hospitals. If an error occurred during treatment, it could lead to complications, then the patient had the right to know all details. Also a patient participating in an experiment he had the right to know about the method and the result. Despite commitment to patient care, ambulances were not patient-friendly as they did not have `low-stretching' steps.

The Indian Medical Association-TN president, Balasubramaniyam, said medical professionals should inform supervisors and insist on right disposal of hospital waste in their clinics and hospitals. Though only 10 per cent of biomedical waste was infectious, the hospital industry was classified under obnoxious and hazardous industry, along with mines, cement, fertilisers and chemicals. Bio medical waste management required only willingness and was inexpensive. A 30-bed hospital needed only Rs. 6,000 to implement it, while training and implementation of the project would go a long way, he said.

Srinivasa Rao, Chief Financial Officer, Vision Health Care, said the US had evolved a system of numbering the diseases so that doctors and medical care providers could prescribe drugs and tests based on the number registered in the computer.

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