Phungzathang admits government doctors indulging in private practices, says trying to fix it

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IMPHAL, March 1: Health Minister, Phungzathang Tonsing today informed the House that the government is yet to come up with a practicable solution to the issue of government doctors indulging in dual practice, although it is tirelessly exploring ways to curb the issue.

Phungzathang Tonsing was responding to cut motion moved by MLAs from the opposition bench during the ongoing full budget session of the Manipur Legislative Assembly today.

Further in his response Phungzathang claimed that the issue is rather complex in reality given the situation of Manipur, and added Uttar Pradesh and Tripura are also facing similar problems.

He said that the government of UP and Tripura, in their attempts to do away with the menace had imposed a system deducting non-practice allowance from the doctors salary however the issue was dragged to the law court resulting in revocation of the practice put in place by both the State governments.

Similarly, it is not feasible to adopt the same system in Manipur for most of the doctors engaged in dual practices are specialist doctors, he said.

Nevertheless underlining the tireless effort of the department, Phungzathang highlighted that a joint meeting was convened between managing directors of all private hospitals and the top brass of the Health department last year.

Checking of dual practice of government doctors who work in private hospitals always while employed by the State and the exorbitant fees charged by private hospitals topped the agenda of the meeting, he continued.

The meeting resolved to maintain a track record of doctors working in private hospitals and act accordingly in the interest of the public but it is yet to be finalized, he said.

To check the working systems of private hospitals including its equipment, a team from the National Health Service Research Centre from the Ministry will be arriving in the State next week, said Phungzathang.

He further clarified that the appointment of regular director of RIMS rests on the shoulders of the Government of India and it is not a state subject.

However, the appointment of regular Director of JNIMS is under active consideration, he added.

Clarifying on the lack of man-power in different health institutes in the State, he said that government is trying its best to meet the minimum requirement through MPSC. Amidst this the government has also put in motion an effort to open 60 of the 85 PHCs of the State 24×7.

He pointed out that of the total 3,554 sanctioned post for Doctors there are only 2500 Doctors and 2133 shortage.

Adding to the woes, 185 doctors are doing PG and another 15 doctors are utilized in JNIMS to meet the requirement of MCI standard, he said.

The Health minister ruled out the lack of interest in developing the infrastructure of JNIMS as observed by the opposition MLAs.

Pointing out that JNIMS has been given permanent recognition as medical college by the Ministry concerned adding that advance X ray, MRI and other advance equipment have been installed as a result to meet the standard of the MCI besides permission to for PG studies.

Moving the motion the opposition MLAs moved motion for policy cut on account of inability to control private practice by the Government doctors and mismanagement in private hospitals, inability to appoint regular Directors in JNIMS and RIMS, improper functioning and lack of manpower in different hospitals (PHCs,CHCs, PHSCs etc), lack of interest by the government in taking up several infrastructure works in JNIMS and negligence in addressing the plight of the pharmacy owners at JNIMS gate.

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