Doctors, health workers and pharmacists could be jailed for up to two years for failing to report cases of tuberculosis, a health ministry notification has said, a few days after Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced that India would eliminate the disease by 2025.
With around 2.8 million cases, India has the highest number of tuberculosis patients, the World Health Organisation’s TB Report-2017 says. The country reported 423,000 TB deaths in 2017 and an average of 211 new infections were diagnosed per 100,000 people.
“Those failing to report… may attract the provisions of sections 269 and 270 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC),” the health ministry’s gazette notification published on Tuesday said.
TB was made a notifiable disease in 2012 but inadequate reporting is the biggest problem the government faces in controlling the disease.