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Legalise private practice, say KGMU doctors

india Updated: Dec 15, 2006 10:38 IST

KGMU DOCTORS want private practice (PP) to be legalised! Yes, and they are willing to pay the varsity @ Rs 2000 per doctor per month for this.

The attempt is being initiated in the wake of increasing pressure upon doctors engaged in PP.

Doctors have prepared a document “Complete Ban on Practice” – an analysis of pros and cons towards a feasible solution. They have also filed a writ petition in the high court in this regard. The Lucknow bench of the High Court has sought the views of the State Government and the KGMU on the issue by December 18.

Ban on PP was first brought about in 1983 and the issue has raised hue and cry quite often since then. The varsity issued several circulars banning PP by the KGMU doctors but nothing concrete could be done.

The last circular was issued by the present Vice Chancellor, Prof Hari Gautam, on September 2006. The circular said ‘no faculty members of KGMU should indulge in private practice of any kind.’

The circular read the section 37 point (3) of the UP KGMU Act 2002 where the act in unambiguous terms prohibits the teachers of KGMU to indulge in PP. But it barely made any difference.

Finding the state’s pressure hard to swallow the varsity doctors drafted this document.

The paper says a complete ban on PP would result in migration of talent, as doctors would join private sector hospitals to improve their earnings. Promotion of corruption and loss of potential fund generating resources are the other disadvantages.

‘Faculty is unlikely to give extra time to university after working hours. They would either look for some non-medical jobs or an entirely new job to earn more,’ says the paper on ban.

The paper also deals with financial benefits of PP in case the doctors are allowed to work in a university run ‘paid clinic’ with better infrastructure. The doctors would pay Rs 2000 per month that would bring in approximately Rs 60 lakh to the varsity coffers annually from the 250 odd faculty members. This payment could be increased by 10 per cent every year. The expenditure of the collected amount has also been planned where 80 per cent of the amount would go to various departments through KGMU central pool. Poor patients’ fund would get 10 per cent of that income and another 10 per cent would go to student welfare fund.

The fund with KGMU central pool would be utilised for departmental medical relief and support to employees (30 per cent), for promoting academic activities like seminars and books (50 per cent) and the rest 20 per cent would remain in the central pool.

Along with the new formula, which is flexible on part of payment to the varsity and utilisation of funds collected, the proposal to increase the salary of the faculty may also be submitted. “The salary of KGMU faculty is at par with reader at a degree college. Had it been equal with the doctors working at AIIMS or PGI the efforts for PP would have been avoided by many,” commented a senior faculty member over the salary issue.