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Medical practitioners refrain from prescribing COVID-19 tests post backlash from BMC

People are finding it difficult to get a prescription from private doctors to get themselves tested after facing backlash from the BMC.

Medical practitioners refrain from prescribing COVID-19 tests post backlash from BMC
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As the country continues to grapple with the coronavirus, lack of transparency in the testing protocol continues for patients and medical practitioners on the ground. The families of people who have been infected with the coronavirus are considered high-risk contacts, especially those who are elderly with co-morbidities. As per reports, these people are finding it difficult to get a prescription from private doctors to get themselves tested.

The last couple of days have been difficult for the people in Mumbai as several private practitioners refused to prescribe the swab test for coronavirus to eligible candidates fearing backlash from the BMC. At the same time, individuals under home quarantine are refraining from accessing BMC’s testing services because they do not want to get admitted to care centres to undergo a test.

The Indian Medical Association (IMA) announced that at least 20 medical practitioners have received notices from BMC for prescribing COVID-19 tests. Most doctors are from L-ward (Kurla). The civic body has observed that these doctors prescribed tests for asymptomatic patients and have been threatened with license cancelling for violating the Indian Council of Medical Research guidelines. The notices were withdrawn after IMA reached out to the government. The IMA is currently initiating a new form for prescribing test for the coronavirus, stating earlier forms were confusing. Meanwhile, several private doctors have decided not to prescribe tests for patients following this incident.

As per the BMC, asymptomatic people are to be tested based on medical examination after the fifth day, on the ground. Private doctors are discouraged from prescribing these tests. BMC is encouraging only symptomatic patients to be tested apart from health workers, pregnant woman, cancer or renal failure patients. A joint meeting was held of private medical practitioners with the additional municipal commissioner on Sunday to put forth these issues to reach a consensus.


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