The National Health Service is facing a health crisis and the Government has ordered its doctors to call people out of their beds at least once a week to tell them what their symptoms are, The Indian Express reported.
The service is facing huge backlogs, as many patients have to go to emergency departments after having symptoms which are not diagnosed.
The new rule was implemented to stop doctors from going into patients homes or asking patients to wait at home for appointments, The Hindu reported.
However, the Government said it will not enforce the new rule, and doctors will still have to refer patients to their home centres.
“Doctors who are not allowed to call out to patients are still allowed to do so, but the number of times they have to call is limited to once a month.
If they are not calling out to their patients, the patient may not know that he or she is in the hospital,” Dr Manu Singh, Chief Medical Officer of the National Health Services, told The Hindu.
He said that a patient can call for an appointment on his or her own if they have been sent to hospital.
Doctors will also not be allowed to ask patients to go home if they are experiencing problems.
“We will not allow them to call the patient home if he or her is not feeling well and needs medical help.
If the patient has symptoms and cannot be found in the home, then the patient should be taken to the hospital.
If there is an urgent need for immediate medical treatment, we will refer the patient to the nearest hospital,” Singh added.
According to the report, the Health Department has already set up a hotline to inform doctors of the new regulations.
However there has been a backlash from patients, with some calling for the change to be scrapped and others calling for a national policy to be put in place to help improve care for people in the country.
According a survey conducted by the Association of Medical Centres of India (AMCI), almost 75 per cent of doctors in India are against the move.
According AMCI, the most common complaint is that the new rules are difficult for them to comply with and that the rules are being rushed.
“If we were to enforce the rules now, there is a high chance that we will lose our patients,” a senior doctor said.
In a separate move, the Indian Medical Association has written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to protest against the changes, saying that the changes are a “slap in the face to all the medical community”.
“A large number of medical practitioners have also written to the PM to protest,” said Dr Sankar Chatterjee, MD of the AMCI.
He added that the government has been making mistakes with the new regulation, adding that “the PM should have gone to Parliament and asked for a parliamentary hearing on this issue.”