Doctors in Tripura, North-east India have threatened to stop private practice from August 1, 2015 unless the state government withdraws its decision to make doctors file official declaration for private practice.
Based on the directions of the High Court, the state health department had earlier asked government doctors to submit an affidavit indicating compliance with regard to private practice.
A division bench of the Tripura high court, comprising Chief Justice Deepak Gupta and Justice Subhashis Talapatra, hearing a PIL has asked government doctors not to run private chambers for more than three hours on working days and six hours on holidays.
The HC has directed the state government to issue a complete ban on service and engagement of government doctors at private nursing homes, health clinics and diagnostic centers.
The court has also asked the government to list out the names of doctors who were willing to do private practice at their residence or rented places following norms and rules.
Health minister Badal Choudhury said the court has observed that some doctors are spending more time at private chambers instead of providing quality service at government hospitals. If any government doctor is allowed to practice privately, the authorities should notify the doctors' fee in the chamber and the doctor has to maintain a list of the patients.
The doctor cannot claim any fee from a patient at his or her private chamber if the patient has already consulted the doctor at a government hospital.
The court has also asked the health department to ensure that no government doctors should charge more than Rs 200 from a first-time patient and Rs 100 from the patient's third visit, at their private chambers.