“Don’t Blame Us for Govt Failure”: Doctors Face-off With PM Modi

The IMA said that the health system of “the country from where you commented” would collapse without Indian doctors.

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Doctors in India are miffed with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, following his speech in the “Bhaarat Ki Baat Sabke Saath” event in UK. Answering a question on Modicare, the prime minister suggested a nexus between doctors and pharmaceutical companies and said that doctors attend international conferences regularly, but not to tend to patients.

While stating that the government has launched generic stores where good quality medicines are sold at cheaper prices, the prime minister also implied that doctors push for the sale of expensive medicines.

Stricter Price Control is Required, Not Finger Pointing: AMC

Deeply disappointed with PM Modi, the Association of Medical Consultants (AMC) and the Indian Medical Association (IMA) wrote to the PM saying that while there are indeed some black sheep, painting all of them with the same brush is unfair, reported ANI.

By and large, Indian doctors are law abiding, honest citizens. By singling out the medical fraternity and painting all with the same brush, you have hurt, brought shame and humiliation to Indians as a whole. All over the world, Indian doctors are highly respected for their ability and clinical acumen. Now the world will look at us all with suspicion.
The Association of Medical Consultants   

The AMC, in their letter, stated that while there are generic drugs and Jan Oushadhi schemes, these are not enough.

“Stricter pricing control on the pharmaceutical industry is required, and not pointing fingers at doctors, as we do not control the pricing of medicines or stents,” wrote the AMC.

India’s budgetary allocation for health is amongst the lowest in the world. So due to lack of governmental healthcare, our population has no option but to rely on private healthcare, which has been taking good care of our people over the years.

The doctors asserted that they “cannot be made scapegoats for failures of successive governments to provide affordable healthcare to our populace.”

Doctors in India are Being Suppressed and Exploited: IMA

Dr Ranvi Wankhedkar, national president of the IMA, in conversation with ANI, said that the prime minister’s remarks made “in a country where the medical system is run by 70% Indians” has saddened medicine practitioners. He also said that issues like prices of drugs are in the hands of the government and not the doctors. Wankhedkar humbly requested the PM to reconsider his remark.

The IMA, in their letter addressed to Narendra Modi, wrote, “Engaging in small talk and maligning the entire medical fraternity in India with a broad brush on foreign soil was certainly not expected out of the prime minister.”

They also said that the health system of the country “from where you commented” would collapse without the support of Indian doctors.

The IMA expresses its displeasure on your unfortunate remarks. We presume this is no way connected with our resistance to the pro-rich NMC Bill 2017. Doctors of this country are being suppressed and exploited by every means possible. The onus of the mess in healthcare squarely falls on the successive governments, including yours.

The IMA, in their letter, pointed out that the association supports the Jan Ouhadhi scheme and itself has an outlet of Jan Oushadhi drugs.

We assure you, Mr Prime Minister, the day you are able to assure the quality of all the drugs manufactured in India, you will not find the doctors of this country wanting.

The IMA letter signed by the national president and honorary secretary of the association, asks why does the government allow huge profit margin in the pharmaceutical industry despite it’s price control policy for drugs.

The doctors, finally, go on to say that the prime minister’s “unfortunate remarks” have brought disrepute to Indian doctors and to India.

To that extent the goodwill and trust invested in you by Indian doctors stands diminished.   

(With inputs from ANI.)

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