Soon, private medical practitioners (PMP) in the city will receive monetary benefits for referring suspected tuberculosis (TB) patients to the civic body’s TB programme. In February, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) rolled out a TB programme after Hinduja Hospital reported cases of extremely drug resistant TB. Now, as part of the programme, BMC has started approaching general practitioners and offering them monetary incentives for follow-up of TB patients and for providing space for sputum tests.
On Thursday, around 100 private doctors participated in a training session held at Kohinoor Hospital at Kurla and most of them signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to partner BMC, said Kiran Keni, district TB officer for L-Ward (Kurla).
“We are approaching doctors with incentives so that they agree to participate in the programme. There are at least three areas in the ward with high prevalence of TB and we need doctors to refer patients to us,” Keni said.
“Patients in slums are more likely to visit a PMP in their locality than come to us. Doctors also want to retain patients, but after some time patients cannot afford the treatment and drop out. This results in drug resistance. So, we are suggesting they sign an MoU, where they can charge the patient for consultation but refer the patient for free treatment to the BMC,” said Manisha Mhaiskar, addl civic commissioner. More than 60% of TB patients seek treatment from private doctors.