Stop private practice by doctors: JK HC

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Srinagar, Sep 28: The Jammu and Kashmir High Court has directed officials of health and other departments to take immediate measures to ensure that doctors do not breach rules regarding private practice in the state.

A Division Bench (DB) comprising Justices Aftab Ahmad Mir and Mansoor Ahmad Mir gave the directions to the Secretary, Health department, Commissioner Vigilance Organisation and Director Sher-e-Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences (SKIMS), to implement the suggestions they have submitted before the court for checking doctors who violate private practice norms.

The directions came in the case: Ghulam Mohammad Khan versus State of J&K. The court sought from the officials their suggestions and measures which would help ensure that doctors did not violate rules regarding private practice.

''All the officers in their respective affidavits have made certain suggestions, some of which are undoubtedly very positive which the court appreciateds, but fails to understand why those suggestions were not implemented. Why should the authorities need a direction from the court to enforce something which is fully within their powers, the Division Bench observed.

The court later directed officials of all the three departments to implement the measures suggested by them in the court.

It further asked the authorities to create public awareness on the issue and take the help of the media, besides setting up compliant cells to avail better results.

The court expressed regret over the private practice by the doctors of SKIMS despite allowance for it and described the continuation of private practice by them as unethical, and that they were paid good non-practicing allowances.

However, it expressed satisfaction over the compliance report of the health department on six directions given by the court to the State government.

The court said doctors of the Government Medical Colleges of the state were permitted private practice with certain limitations including prescribed consultation fees as stated in the SRO 196 of 1998.

The court said the doctors of Medical Colleges and Associated Hospitals fully took advantage of the concession but hardly adhered to the prescribed fee rate and other conditions.


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