MBBS doctor can neither treat nor dispense medicines to a cancer patient
The Director of Medical Education and Director of Public Health of Maharashtra told the State Information Commission that MBBS doctors have not been taught about cancer drugs, cancer treatment and chemotherapy. Furthermore, only pharmacists registered under the Pharmacy Council Act, 1948, can dispense drugs to a cancer patient.
The Director of Public Health said that only in a special circumstance can an MBBS doctor give preliminary treatment to a cancer patient. He informed that under the cancer prevention programme, training is imparted to MBBS doctors for preliminary treatment of cancer patients. Once trained, they can treat a cancer patient, but only after the treatment protocol is prescribed by a cancer specialist.
The Information Commission was told that in the curriculum prescribed by the Maharashtra University of Health Sciences, an MBBS doctor is not taught administration of medicines to a cancer patient. The subject of chemotherapy is not included in the MBBS curriculum and it would be inappropriate for an MBBS doctor to administer chemotherapy. It was also informed that a MBBS doctor can diagnose common clinical disorders and cancer is not a common clinical disorder. Therefore, a MBBS doctor does not have a comprehensive knowledge of medicines prescribed for treatment of cancer.
The Information Commission has asked the Chief Secretary to draft comprehensive norms for dispensation and administration of medicines to cancer patients.