Repeated incidents of botched medical procedures, including a recent unsuccessful abortion performed in Warangal by so-called Registered Medical Practitioners (RMP), have put a big question mark on their credentials.

And it has now come to light that RMPs and PMPs (Private Medical Practitioners) are anything but legal. There is no minimum qualification required for one to become an RMP or a PMP, and the practice remains unregulated. From first aid to sex determination and abortions, these RMPs and PMPs are undertaking anything and everything.

Recently, Yacharam police arrested five RMPs for performing sex determination tests.

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In a recent RTI response, the State Para Medical Board’s public information officer stated that the government has never prescribed any qualification nor issued any orders allowing anyone to practise as RMP or PMP. “We do not register anyone as a RMP or a PMP,” said T Gopal Reddy, secretary of TS Para Medical Board.

Officials of the state health department say that they do not register any person as an RMP or a PMP, and they initiate action against such practitioners when brought to their notice. In the past few years, at least, government agencies did not initiate any crackdown on RMPs and PMPs. Requesting anonymity, officials said that even if they shut down the clinic of an RMP or PMP, the unregistered practitioners shift base and start their business afresh in another locality.

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And state government’s order in 2015 asking practitioners to register for Community Para Medic Training drew sharp reactions from doctors. While it has been reported that various practitioners’ associations have been registering illegal practitioners as RMPs and PMPs, founder and president of TS PMPs, RMPs, Community Practitioners Union S Venkat Reddy said that no association can register a person as RMP or PMP.

In 2015, the government had issued an order stating that a decision had been taken to impart ‘Community Para Medic Training’ to these RMPs and PMPs in order to improve their skills to administer the medicines prescribed by the qualified medical practitioners. The Para Medical Board’s secretary was instructed to start the course. On Saturday, secretary of the board Gopal Reddy said the course had not begun. #KhabarLive

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