The Uttarakhand High Court orders physicians to write prescriptions using computers in 2018

The Uttarakhand High Court has ordered all doctors in 2018 to issue computer-generated prescriptions rather than handwritten ones so that patients and their attendants can read them, whether they work in government, public, or private clinics.

In order for the government medical officers to issue the printed prescriptions, the court also ordered the state government to “supply required infrastructure to the Government Medical Officers, i.e. computers and printers, within a reasonable period.”

According to Atul Kumar Bansal, the petitioner’s attorney, the court gave the instructions after learning during the case’s arguments that frequently, patients or their companions are unable to interpret the handwriting of doctors and other medical professionals.

According to Bansal, the high court division bench, which was made up of acting chief justice Rajiv Sharma and justice Manoj Kumar Tiwari, gave the instructions after hearing a plea for review of an order from August 14 that was submitted by representatives of a Jolly Grant hospital in Dehradun. The court instructed the state doctors to exclusively prescribe generic medications in the order from August 14 and not to require patients to purchase name-brand medications. The hospital administration argued before the court through the review petition that all state-employed doctors must only prescribe generic medications.

However, the court denied the request for a review, concluding that “We do not see any error obvious on the face of the record.”

Earlier, on August 14, 2016, Ahmad Nabi submitted a public interest litigation (PIL) to the court. According to the PIL, two hospitals in the Udham Singh Nagar district—BD Hospital Doraha Bazpur and Public Hospital Sarkari Road Kela Khera—were being managed by individuals who lacked medical degrees and were not registered as clinical establishments under the Clinical Establishments (Registration and Regulations) Act of 2010.

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