‘All these steps are for safety of patients’
Has the drive against illegal sale of abortion medicines now been extended to other areas of record keeping at clinics and nursing homes?
As per the law, it is not just one set of medicines for which doctors have to maintain records. There are rules for different kinds of medicines. Doctors have to procure medicines from a licensed wholesaler or retailer. A patient needs a prescription with his and the doctor’s details on it. All stakeholders, such as doctors, patients and pharmacists need to maintain sale, purchase and prescriptions. All this is for the safety of patients.
Doctors are complaining that it is extremely difficult to maintain records of medicines that are replaced by the patients. They say the replacement practice suits doctors as well as patients.
We have nothing to say about their internal management. Patients can replace the medicines if they wish, but the law remains. They should have bought those medicines against a proper prescription and nursing homes should have batch numbers and purchase order details.
It is for the safety of the patient who may consume the replaced medicine. We need to ensure that it is not expired or spurious.
The only way to ensure this is through meticulous records. As long as they are maintained, we have no problem with medicines being replaced by patients after treatment.
Maintenance of records has been cited as a major problem by nursing home owners because of shortage of staff and space. Do you feel they need some concessions?
I do not understand this tendency of doctors.
We are asking for what the law mandates and nothing else. The lawmakers have thought about the welfare of public. In the developed world, doctors and hospitals have impeccable records for medical treatments and health care. In this age of computerisation and technology, I do not see why it is so difficult to keep track of procurement and dispensing of medicines.