IMA Alcohol policy for all

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Doctors are “Brand Ambassadors of Health”, and as part of our professional responsibilities, we not only take care of the health needs of our patients, but also that of the community by advocacy of various public health issues. We prescribe a healthy lifestyle to our patients and emphasize upon them the need to adopt healthy habits and lifestyle.

‘Practice What You Preach’ is an age-old saying. Doctors have a responsibility to put into practice themselves what they teach their patients about healthy lifestyle. It is also important that we maintain our dignity before the patients, a dictum also laid down in the MCI Code of ethics regulations, which says that “A physician shall uphold the dignity and honour of his profession (1.1.1)”.

A patient should be able to trust his doctor and have confidence in him. Any public display of “undignified” behavior erodes the trust in the doctor and gives a bad name to the profession.

IMA has formulated an alcohol policy for all its members to follow.

• Both 1st July and 5th September are dry days and no alcohol should be served in any function as a mark of respect.
• No social alcohol in company of non doctors.
• 6 grams (18 ml of whisky) is the social and safe dose of alcohol.
• No alcohol should be served in IMA Meets.
• If served, follow 6 g limit for relaxation, if can’t then less than 10 gram per serving, no second serving in less than one hour and no more than two servings in one day, 50% for women.
• IMA host should ensure that guests do not drive back, if they are served alcohol.
• One standard peg = 10 g (1 ml alcohol = 0.8 g) = 30 ml of 80 proof whisky with 40% alcohol
• 12 g = 360 mL beer, 150 mL wine, or 45 mL of 80 proof distilled spirits
• Liver can metabolize 10 gm of alcohol in one hour (50% in women)

Dr KK Aggarwal
National President IMA & HCFI