New Delhi: The Orissa High Court has asked doctors to write prescriptions in capital letters and observed that illegible scrawls composed by doctors create unnecessary nuisance for the patients, pharmacists, police, prosecutors and judges who are bound to deal with such medical reports.
A bench of Justice SK Panigrahi observed that prescriptions of physicians, OPD slips, post-mortem reports, injury reports among others are required to be legible and fully comprehensible. The High Court also asked the state Chief Secretary to take necessary action in this regard.
“This court feels, it is imperative that the entire physician community need to go an extra mile and make conscious efforts to write prescriptions in good handwriting preferably in CAPITAL LETTERS. The digital era could also throw open several options to make prescriptions and the diagnosis more patient friendly,” the court said.
The High Court expressed highest regard for the professionalism of doctors for their exemplary and untiring service during COVID-19 pandemic at different levels.
The bench, however, said that illegible handwriting can delay treatment and lead to unnecessary tests and inappropriate doses which in turn can, at times, result in fatal consequences.
“On many occasions, the pharmacists find it difficult to decipher what is written in the prescription. Sometimes, even some physicians fail to read their own handwriting,” the court said.
Significantly, the Medical Council of India had also issued a notification in 2016 suggesting that every physician should prescribe drugs with generic names and preferably in capital letters and he/she shall ensure that there is a rational prescription and use of drugs.
It is to be mentioned here that the High Court was hearing an interim bail plea by a petitioner on the ground that his wife is suffering from severe gynaecological complexities along with cardio-vascular and haematological problems and that she is living alone. The appellant submitted that his presence is necessary for attending her.
The counsel for the petitioner also submitted the medical reports for the perusal of the court.
However, while verifying the medical documents, the court observed that “prescription by the doctor is pathetically poor legibility and is far beyond the comprehension of any common man or even for this Court which is dealing with the matter.”
The High Court granted interim bail to the petitioner.