Government hospital’s medical prescription leaves patient puzzled
Would you understand which medicine you had to take if your doctor wrote ‘500-mg BD’ in the prescription? No. You would only understand that some medicine had to be taken twice a day -- nothing else.
Despite the Medical Council of India urging doctors to write prescriptions in a clear handwriting, even in capital letters, and issuing several circulars in this regard, many medical practitioners still find it difficult to do so.
A recent example is from the Balrampur Hospital in Lucknow where a patient was given a prescription reading: Tab 500 mg BD. There were two other medicines mentioned in it, one of them as ‘GP’. The woman patient given the prescription said that only the name of the third medicine could be read.
Commenting on the incident, Dr PK Gupta, former president of the Indian Medical Association, Lucknow, said, “It is a patient’s right to know which medicine is being prescribed to him / her during illness. Even if the hospital has its own codes of writing prescriptions, the patient’s rights cannot be ignored.”
A senior medical faculty of the King George’s Medical University (KGMU) in Lucknow said that prescriptions had to be written clearly, as the patient might need to go for a second opinion on the treatment being offered. “This is not possible if the patient doesn’t know which medicines have been prescribed,” he said.
“When pathology reports can be printed, why can’t medical prescriptions be printed as well? The private sector has already adopted printing of reports. Even a premier medical institute such as the PGI (Sanjay Gandhi Post Graduate Institute of Medical Sciences, Lucknow) issues printed discharge summaries now,” said Dr Gupta.
Despite repeated attempts to get the comments of the director of Balrampur Hospital, Rajeev Lochan, he could not be reached.