eMedinewS Editorial

Health Care, Medicine 2,291 Comments

The pharma doctors clause in the Medical Council of India needs revision.

Dear Colleague

The clause 6.8 in the Medical Council of India prohibits doctors practically to have any relationship with the pharma industry. The new act even prohibits young doctors receiving educational grant for updating their knowledge from the pharma or related healthcare industry.

The original Medical Council of India Act was made at a time when doctors were not treated under Consumer Protection Act but once it has been made clear that doctors are under Consumer Protection Act, the whole MCI Act may have to be restudied and rewritten.

Under the Consumer Protection Act, a patient is a consumer and hence a doctor can be equated to a shopkeeper and the clinic a shop. When the patient has the right to file a case like a consumer then doctor also should have all the rights of a shop owner.

How can advertisement and promotional activities be not allowed then? A shopkeeper is allowed to choose a particular product from amongst the competitive market and be paid incentives for the same.

I am conscious that many of you reading this may feel offended as none of us wants to be compared with a shopkeeper and our clinic with a shop. But this is the only way we can pursue the policy makers either to withdraw Consumer Protection Act from the medical profession or allow all promotional and marketing avenues for the medical professionals. After all, all medical establishments are allowed advertisement and promotional activities. Most of the hospitals in any city have a full fledged marketing department to market doctor’s services, pay commissions officially by cheque and advertise openly.

Dr KK Aggarwal
Padma Shri Awardee and Chief Editor