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Posted at: Dec 12, 2015, 2:12 AM; last updated: Dec 12, 2015, 1:57 AM (IST)DIGITISING MEDICO-LEGAL, POST-MORTEM REPORTS

HC order compliance hits services in govt hospitals

Slow start, glitch-ridden software make the process cumbersome

Last-moment panic

  • In December 2014, the HC had ordered that all medico-legal and post-mortem reports in Punjab and Haryana should be digitised
  • The Haryana unit of the National Informatics Centre created a web-based software. But no technical staff was deputed by the authorities to upload the reports online over the past one year
  • During the last hearing in November 2015, the HC pulled up the top brass of the health departments of Punjab and Haryana for having failed to ensure compliance of the order
  • After this, the authorities told doctors in all hospitals in both the states to make certain that reports of the past year are uploaded before December 21, the next date of hearing
  • So, doctors brought their own computers and started uploading reports from the college premises
  • Those working in the field and far-flung areas were asked to use any means to upload the reports
HC order compliance hits 
services in govt hospitals
Doctors upload reports using their personal laptops at the government medical college in Patiala on Friday. Tribune Photo: Rajesh Sachar

Manish Sirhindi

Tribune News Service

Patiala, December 11

Teaching, medical and emergency services in all government hospitals in Punjab and Haryana have been hit as doctors are now tight pressed to comply with a high court order to upload all medico-legal (MLR) and post-mortem reports online.

The voluminous work is being done using a web-based software that has been hit by technical snags.

In December last year, the HC had ordered that all medico-legal and post-mortem reports in Punjab and Haryana be digitised after a doctor’s handwriting was found to be unreadable while hearing a medico-legal case.

Following this, the Haryana unit of the National Informatics Centre (NIC) created a web-based software.

However, no technical staff was deputed by the authorities to upload the reports online in the past one year.

During last hearing in November 2015, the HC pulled up the top brass of the health departments of Punjab and Haryana for having failed to ensure compliance of the order.

After this, the authorities told doctors in all hospitals in both the states to make certain that reports of the past year, which are thousands in number, were uploaded before December 21, the next date of hearing.

This prompted the doctors to set up ‘uploading centres’ on college premises, where doctors were asked to bring their own computers and start uploading reports. Those working in the field and far-flung areas were asked to use any means to upload the reports. Many chose to use cyber cafés, putting to risk the confidentiality of the legal document.

Those working on the premises of medical colleges said that the site crashed frequently and they had to repeatedly feed all the details.

Dr DS Bhullar, general secretary of the Punjab State Medical and Dental Teachers Association Patiala (PSMDTA), said doctors were not against digitisation of the records, but the process should be simplified.

Meanwhile, Dr Manjit Kaur Mohi, Director, Medical Education and Research, Punjab, said the HC orders were bring complied with.

She said they had not received any written complaints in this regard, but if need be, they would apprise the HC about the problem and seek more time for uploading the reports.

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