Mumbai: The Maharashtra government has decided to serve notices to all private doctors in the state, as they have failed to register tuberculosis (TB) patients on its ‘Nikshay’ website. This move comes after the central government noticed private hospitals were not providing adequate information on TB patients undergoing treatment at their hospitals.
Senior officials said the union government has set a target of TB elimination by 2025, for which doctors were asked to upload complete information of TB patients on the website. “As the incidence of TB is on the rise, the union government had asked all private and government hospitals to notify or register TB patients on the ‘Nikshay’ website. But it has been observed they are failing to do so, hence the notices are being served,” he added.
After declaring TB as a notifiable disease, the Centre had sent instructions to all states in 2012, asking them to keep records. Despite this, in 2016, 1.22 lakh cases of TB were reported in the state and the number rose to 1.27 lakh in 2017. Already, 63,271 cases have been recorded until June 2018. In this period, the city has seen a spike in extra-pulmonary TB, which often spreads to other organs.
Dr Satish Pawar, head of the TB control programme in Maharashtra, said government hospitals are giving adequate information about patients, but they do not have the information about patients undergoing treatment for TB at private hospitals.
“As per the government’s order, the state can file an FIR against those doctors who are not abiding by the order. Before doing that we will serve notices to all doctors. But, strict action will be taken against those who fail to register TB patients even after the notices are served,” Dr Pawar warned.
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March 2018 notification
In March 2018, the Union health ministry had issued a notification which stated, “The clinical establishment, doctors, chemists and druggists will have to notify TB patients to the nodal officer in the health department of rural and urban bodies. Not taking appropriate public health action on receiving the TB patient notification may attract the provisions of sections 269 and 270 of the Indian Penal Code.”