The Ministry of Health has decided to bar medical directors serving in government hospitals from working in nursing homes and private clinics.
The MoH move is meant to prevent doctors serving in state-run hospitals from engaging in private practice.
“Doctors will have to choose between government service and private practice,” Minister for Health Gagan Thapa said in a press meet organised at MoH today. He said MoH would introduce mandatory policy to prevent medical directors and superintendents of state-run hospitals from engaging in private practice.
According to Minister Thapa, other doctors serving in government hospitals are encouraged to engage in private practice if medical directors themselves do the same. He said poor patients from across the country, who reach government hospitals hoping to get quality care were being severely affected by the private practice of government doctors.
The ministry stated that some doctors were found spending more hours in private hospitals and clinics than in the government hospital. Some doctors were found asking patients to visit them in their private clinics and even transferring patients to nursing homes from government hospitals.
Minister Thapa said that he had directed officials concerned to ensure that referral cases were examined only by consultant doctors. “I have directed the officials to ensure that they do not have to wait in queue,” Thapa added.
He said it was grave injustice to patients and their relatives to be made to wait for hours and struggle to seek an appointment with a doctor.
A version of this article appears in print on October 07, 2016 of The Himalayan Times.