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Regulation on Conduct of Doctors

The Section 6.1 of Indian Medical Council (Professional Conduct, Etiquette and Ethics) Regulations, 2002 provides that soliciting of patients directly or indirectly, by a physician, by a group of physicians or by institutions or organizations is unethical.

The Medical Council of India received two complaints with regard to advertisement of medical professionals in the year 2013-2014. These complaints were considered by the Ethics Committee of the MCI and the decision taken by the Ethics Committee is as under:-

i. The Ethics Committee considered a complaint letter dated 17.05.2013 received from Prof. Sri Ram Khanna, Department Of Commerce, Delhi School of Economics, and University of Delhi against advertisement given by doctors of Nova Orthopedics & Spine Hospital, Nehru Enclave., dated 15th May, 2013 in Hindustan Time. On the directions of MCI, Chairman and Medical Superintendent of Nova Orthopaedic& Spine Hospital, Nehru Enclave appeared before the Ethics Committee. He accepted responsibility for release of the advertisement and expressed the view that it was ethically wrong. He tendered unconditional apology and stated before the Committee that they will be putting an advertisement to the Newspaper for withdrawal of the advertisement. On submission of proof of withdrawal of advertisement published in the newspaper, the apology of the Hospital was accepted by the Ethics Committee. Accordingly, the matter was disposed of by MCI.

ii. The Ethics Committee considered a Newspaper Clipping published in the Times of India dated 23.08.2013 with regard to Saket City Hospital, New Delhi. The Medical Director of Saket City Hospital, Saket, New Delhi appeared before the Ethics Committee on behalf of Chairman. He apologized for the advertisement given in the newspaper and stated before the Committee that they will be putting an advertisement to the Newspaper for withdrawal of the advertisement. On submission of proof of withdrawal of advertisement published in the newspaper, the apology of the Hospital was accepted by the Ethics Committee. Accordingly, the matter was disposed off by MCI.

MCI has informed that the Ethics Committee of MCI considered a letter dated 02.05.2014 received from Secretary General, the Advertising Standards Council of India and decided as under:-

(i) The Ethics Committee decided that wherever possible the registration details of the doctors shown in the advertisement be obtained from the Indian Medical Register and the respective State Medical Councils be asked to investigate and take necessary action in pursuance of the Medical Council (Professional Conduct, Etiquette & Ethics) Regulations, 2002 within a period of six (6) months under intimation to the Council.

(ii) The Advertising Standards Council of India, Mumbai should also be asked to send to MCI the State wise list of doctors (only Allopathic) registered with MCI/State Medical Councils to take necessary action in accordance with the Code of Medical Ethics.

(iii) Advertising Standards Council of India, Mumbai should be advised to write to appropriate Law Enforcing Authorities of the Country to take suitable action against the fake doctors and their advertisements which is maligning the image of medical professionals.

The above decisions of the Ethics Committee, MCI were communicated to the Advertising Standards Council of India vide Council’s letter dated 12.08.2014.

The Health Minister, Shri J P Nadda stated this in a written reply in the LokSabha here today.

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