INDIA’S MAMMOTH PRIVATE SECTOR, CATERING TO HALF THE CASELOAD, LEFT OUT:
Failure of the government for a decade (1997 – 2007) to stitch up an optimal merger with nation’s colossal private sector, which caters to over half the caseload of TB, is a predictable outcome of its autocratic functioning. Having failed to enroll qualified private practitioners, it is recklessly inducting quacks, giving tacit approval to quackery in India.
Initially, in 1998, the entire program was launched solely through India’s government sector. Even today, for all practical purposes, the status continues to be more or less the same. Abject disinterest exhibited by the private doctors in joining this national effort probably reflects their lack of conviction in the current module. It could also be the result of their abject non-inclusion in the crucial decision-making process. Timely amalgamation with private sector would have meant optimal division of labor, effortless expansion, and meaningful coverage for the public and far better results. Failure of the government officials for 8 long years to stitch up an optimal merger with nation’s colossal private sector, which caters to nearly half the caseload, is a symptom of their strategic bankruptcy.
Further, it is suspected that having failed miserably in large-scale enrolment of qualified doctors, govt. seems resigned to involving unqualified persons instead, giving a tacit approval to quackery.
· Of the “> 3000 private practitioners involved in RNTCP”* (18), how many are truly qualified in allopathic medicine is not known.
· Of the 70 odd private ‘doctors’ claimed to have been involved in the program in district Faridabad till 2005, not a single one possessed an MBBS degree or a legitimate license from the Medical Council of India.