Ways and Means to Utilize Private Practitioners for Tuberculosis Care in India LA01-LA04
Dr. Janmejaya Samal,
C/o. Mr. Bijaya Ketan Samal, At-Panasapalli, Po-Bangarada, Via Gangapur, Dist-Ganjam-761123, Odisha, India.
The growing interest of utilizing the private practitioners in improving the outreach of public health services including Tuberculosis (TB) control programme stemmed out of people’s preference for private health facilities in situations where public health facilities fail to meet the expectations. In different parts of India, many models of Public Private Partnership have been tried and tested and proved successful in providing quality TB care in the concerned community. In this paper, several ways and means have been proposed to effectively utilize private practitioners for TB care in India. These strategies are discussed under different headings: (1) identification of potential private practitioners: (2) orientation of private practitioners: (3) networking of private practitioners with patients and Directly Observed Treatment Short course (DOTS) provider: (4) follow-up and sensitization of patients by private practitioners: (5) let the word of mouth work: and (6) evaluation of the involvement of private practitioners in TB care. However the following points must be addressed before utilizing the private practitioners for TB care: time constraints in notifying the disease, adherence to DOTS regime/alternative to DOTS regime, referral of patients to public health facilities for diagnosis and treatment, follow-up and sensitization of the patients and behaviour change communication and awareness in the community by the private practitioners. Few of these are mandatory for the private practitioners; most are practicable. With the effective utilization of private practitioners many problems can be sorted out that are currently plaguing the system such as irrational and excessive use of certain drugs, over reliance on chest X-ray for diagnosis, under use of sputum microscopy, lack of knowledge regarding standard treatment protocols and varied prescription practices.