Health Policy

Point of care monitoring expands market

Patients wary of medical negligence and unnecessary tests by doctors need not be nervous at the time of hospitalisation anymore. The government is in the process of framing clinical guidelines for the treatment of widely-prent diseases. Doctors would have to follow these guidelines. The health ministry has already started preliminary rounds of discussions with various stakeholders such as insurance officials, eminent doctors, healthcare groups and other medical experts. The clinical guidelines will suggest the desired treatment, pathological tests and medication for several diseases. “The government expects to frame a basic broad outline of the proposed initiative within a few weeks. The final guidelines will take a much longer time as it is a complicated matter which requires the consensus of various stakeholder, ” an eminent doctor, who is part of the group framing the guidelines told ET. The initiative will not be mandatory but act as a guideline for doctors to follow. Medical practitioners can choose to follow their line of treatment, based on their understanding. However, in the case of wrong medication or diagnosis leading to wrong treatment or unnecessary cost inflation, the prescribed guidelines will give patients a strong case to question the mistake. Some countries like the UK already has similar guidelines. To begin with, the government will ask doctors in state-owned hospital to follow the guidelines and plan to later extend it to private hospitals. The government will initially focus on widely prent diseases such as Malaria, Asthma, TB and Epilepsy but the plan wants to cover over 50 diseases. While there is a similar treatment process for a particular disease, it has been noticed that if a patient goes to different doctors for the same disease, each doctor adopts a varied line of treatment. In case of private and corporate hospitals, many doctors also ask patients to take costly tests, which may not be necessary and end up inflating the bill.

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