Aiming to check the wide spreading TB infection, government has made mandatory doctor, hospital authorities, chemists and druggists to report the cases to the health authorities.
According to a notification, the Union Health Ministry said failure by clinical establishments to notify a tuberculosis patient to the nodal officer and local public health staff can be punished with a jail term of six months to two years under the provisions of Sections 269 (negligent act likely to spread infection of disease dangerous to life) and 270 (malignant act likely to spread infection of disease dangerous to life) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC). While Section 269 provides for a jail term of six months and/ or fine, Section 270 has provision for a jail term of two years and/ or fine.
The ministry has issued separate reporting formats for laboratories and medical practitioners, clinics, hospitals, nursing homes etc. “To ensure proper tuberculosis diagnosis and its management in patients and their contacts and to reduce tuberculosis transmission and further to address the problems of emergence and spread of drug-resistant tuberculosis, it is essential to collect complete information of all tuberculosis patients… Healthcare providers, termed as clinical establishments henceforth, shall notify every tuberculosis patient to local public health authority, namely, district health officer or chief medical officer of a district and municipal health officer of urban local bodies in whatever way they are known; or their designated district tuberculosis officers in a format as specified,” says the notification.