IMA to develop a Model Health Village – Dr. A. Marthanda Pillai

Addressing his first Press Conference, Padma Shri Awardee, Dr. A. Marthanda Pillai, National President, IMA said that under Aao Gaon Chalen Project of IMA, IMA will come out with a Model IMA Health Village in the coming year, which can be replicated at a national level, both by the Govt as well as NGOs including IMA branches.

Explaining further, Dr. Pillai said that the Model Health Village will have all parameters met within a year as defined by Millennium Development Goals. The Conference was co-addressed by Padma Shri Awardee, Dr K K Aggarwal, Hony. Secretary General, IMA.

In a joint statement, Dr. Pillai and Dr. Aggarwal said that IMA has written to all its 1700 branches to follow Hon’ble Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi’s initiative of Swachh Bharat, Swasth Bharat movement. The IMA officials feel that 20% of the disease burden can be reduced if all the doctors in our country are sensitized to have their medical establishments follow hygienic principles and they in turn motivate their patients to follow the principals of respiratory, food, water and hand hygiene. The IMA officials said that they have requested each of its 1700 branches in the country to nominate 9 Medical Icons of their area to lead this campaign in the coming year.
Dr. A. Marthanda Pillai
National President, IMA
IMA also showed concern about the inclusion of Cross pathy in the National Health Policy, which has been put by the MoHFW, Govt. of India on its website. Under this National Health Policy, the Govt is envisaging training AYUSH doctors for a limited period of time and allowing them to become midcare health providers.
IMA holds the view that it is not against AYUSH as a branch taking the front position and wants AYUSH to progress in their respective fields. However, IMA is against AYUSH doctors practicing modern system of medicine, as it will cause more harm than benefit to the patients.
IMA has already taken opinion of Joint Commission International (JCI) & National Accreditation Board for Hospitals (NABH) and is of the view that Indian Hospitals will never be able to provide quality and safe service to patients if half-baked AYUSH doctors are allowed to practice modern system of medicine.
If the Govt. goes ahead in this venture, it is a possibility that the JCI and NABH may not give accreditation to most of the hospitals, which may affect medical tourism in the country.
IMA, on the other hand, welcomes the Govt. move of making healthcare as a Fundamental Right. However, IMA made a very strong statement that “Nobody in India should die of illness, which is preventable or just because he/she cannot afford it”.

IMA in the statement also said that Govt. should also ensure their commitment of 5% of GDP as budgeted expenditure for their health care budget.

IMA expressed concern about the Govt.’s recent reduction of health budget and its spectacle to increase the GDP from 2.5% to 5% may not actually happen.

IMA’s statement is very clear of providing affordable and quality drugs to each and every person. Therefore, a public distribution system has to be in place, which IMA will support.

Today we have 75,000 Resident Doctors who are waiting for their PG and there are only 6500 rural medical vacancies, which is less than 10% of the total vacancies.

IMA feels that it can help the Govt. of India and be a link between young doctors and the Govt. and help them in filling 6500 vacancies if the Govt provides the following to these doctors:-
• A salary which is twice the normal salary as a hardship allowance.
• A free decent accommodation at the PHCs.
• Security and safety of the persons posted in the PHCs.
• Free basic drugs and investigations, as promised by the Govt. under Universal Health coverage.
• 10% extra marks in their PG entrance examinations if they complete one year of rural service

IMA will issue them a one-year certificate of training in Rural Medicine, Rural Surgery and in Public Health, which can help them to upgrade their biodata.

Dr K K Aggarwal, 
Hony. Secretary General, IMA.
IMA is of the view that if no vehicle can run on the road without insurance, similarly, health insurance should be compulsory and the same should be provided by the Govt. for those who cannot afford it.

Regarding medical education, IMA is of the view that the curriculum should be revised in every 7 years and IMA should a part of the revision process. Soft skills should be included in the curriculum. IMA wants 10% of the medical curriculum to include Mental Health & Bio Ethics.
Regarding legal medicine, IMA is of the view that doctors should not come under CPA because this is a different profession. If doctors come under the purview of CPA, then they will have to be allowed to advertise, have marketing agents and do all activities, which will no more make this profession a noble one.

‘To err is human’ for this every doctor goes for indemnity insurance. But doctors want this compensation to be capped and IMA is of the opinion that a Medical Tribunal on the lines of CAT should be established by the Govt., which will take care of the responsibilities presently undertaken by MCI and CPA.

IMA is also launching its Grievance Redressal & Mediation Cell, where patients will be able to approach IMA for their redressals.

IMA will also launch many projects like Care of Elderly, Trauma Care, Waste Disposal, National Initiative for Safe & Sound against noise pollution and Reduction in maternal and infant mortality and Initiative for mental health.