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SRINAGAR — The entry of Medical Representatives (MRs) in hospitals during official hours is causing a mess in hospitals with doctors giving them preference over patients.

As per the reports from the news agency KNO, its health correspondent visited several district, sub-district hospitals, Community Health Centres and Primary Health Centres where it was found there is no restriction on the movement of MRs and their entry into the cabins of doctors.

Several patients and their attendants said that it has become a norm in hospitals that MRs are being allowed to enter the OPDs and doctors’ cabins without any restrictions. They said that elderly patients are being kept waiting for hours as doctors prefer to discuss their perks and gifts with medical representatives.

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An 80-year-old patient from Shopian said that he had to wait for around three hours to get an OPD consultation at one of the hospitals. He said that over one dozen MRs entered the doctor’s cabin where he was supposed to treat patients.

“It was between 10 AM-1 PM without any restrictions when patients from far-off places were visiting the OPD for treatment,” he said.

An attendant said that the government is claiming that 90 percent of medicines are available now in hospitals at very low rates. “But what is the fun of allowing MRs to enter hospitals,” he added.

“If doctors have to discuss medicines, they can do it after office hours or at their private clinics. At government hospitals, entry of MRs is delaying treatment to patients,” he added.

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Patients and attendants said that the government must issue a circular and restrict the entry of MRs during official hours at least so that poor patients won’t have to wait for treatment.

Medical superintendents and block medical officers must monitor such activities so that the entry of MRs during official hours does not hamper work at hospitals.

A senior health officer acknowledged that they have received complaints about the entry of MRs into hospitals during office hours. He said that the concerned officials have been directed to look into it so that every patient gets treatment on time.

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