All Deepak Soni, 36, wanted was a drug to soothe the throbbing back ache. But the indecipherable squiggly writing on the doctor’s prescription sent him running from one chemist shop to another. In the end, Soni ended up with an unbearable pain.
Soni is not the only victim of illegible writing on prescriptions.
“The slightly curly ‘l’, resembling the letter ‘c’, has often created confusion to such an extent that wrong medicines has been consumed by patients,” a senior city-based doctor, not wishing to be named, said.
To put this confusion to an end, the Medical Council of India (MCI) had recently issued directives to doctors to write prescriptions in capital letters and also have a uniform receipt.
Under this new directive, doctors were asked to mention their name, address and email address on the prescription.
But the orders remained on papers. There are hardly any practitioners in the city who are abiding by the directives.
“The (MCI) guidelines (on prescription) were issued a month back, but are not being followed… “ The inspection or monitoring (to check implementation of the directives) has not begun yet,” said Dr Sanjay Dixit, vice-dean of MGM Medical College.
On the other hand, district president of Indian Medical Association, Dr Surendra Bapat, denied to have received any such guidelines.
“I was told that the guideline will be issued soon, but I am yet to receive any formal letter from them (the MCI). The general practitioners are not (even) aware of the development,” Dr Bapat told Hindustan Times.
He, however, agreed that poor handwriting of doctors had for long been an issue affecting doctor-patient relationship.
“The first thing that a young medico is taught in college is how to write a prescription. They are told to write (the names of) medicines in capital (letters) and clear fonts, but people change in due course of time.”