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Tamil Nadu Medical Council sends out notices to doctors for advertising

Tamil Nadu Medical Council sends out notices to doctors for advertising

Chennai: Taking a strong stance against advertisement by medical professionals practicing in the state, Tamil Nadu Medical Council is reported to have sent out notices to 25 doctors across 5 different specialties asking them to submit their defense, as to why disciplinary action should not be initiated against them.

This time, the issue raised by the state medical council relates to online advertising and in specific to doctors displaying their services at the online search engine ” Practo.”

One such notice clearly reads

” It is noted that you have displayed your qualifications and claims as Specialists in the field. It is also noticed that advertisement has reviews and recommendations for public display for promoting your practice for public display for promoting your practice.

It is also noted that searching for specialists, through the site, your advertisement on the site causes among the top in Chennai”

Equating the said registrations at the website to advertising, the state medical council has considered it to be a violation of Indian Medical Council Act 1956 and sections 1.4.2, 6.1, 7.1, 7.3, 7.11, 7.12, 7.13 and 7.20 of the Code of Medical Ethics. The doctors have been further asked by the council to submit evidence of  their qualifications displayed , and the claims as specialist, mentioned in the site.

Speaking to Medical Dialogues team, Dr K Senthil, President, Tamil Nadu Medical Council said, ” We identified 5 specialties and the top 5 doctors, shown on the search site Practo, in its search results, and have sent them notices on why they have advertised at the online platform.”

Meanwhile Medical dialogues team asked Shashank ND, Founder and CEO, Practo, whether the search engine charges any money to display doctors and qualification/specialty/services on top of the search list. He replied, ” Absolutely not. All listings on Practo are completely free. Practo bears the cost of listing all the doctors and verifying their information.”

“To be categoric, no doctor or institution can pay to boost their listing in the organic results,” Shashank added

Does creation of profile on Online portals for doctors appointments, amount to advertising?
12 comment(s) on Tamil Nadu Medical Council sends out notices to doctors for advertising

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  1. This is a tricky business. What amounts to advertisement is not clear. Just putting up your name on a name plate on the doctors coat also could be considered as advertisement.
    I don’t think that there is any thing unethical in advertising the services, provided the facts given in the advertisement are true. False claims of educational qualifications, misleading claims of wonder cure etc could be considered as unethical.
    All the business professionals advertise their services and no action is taken against them. We see misleading claims of wonder cure, claims by the so called “yogis”, and even astrologers advertising their services. Most of the con-men advertise almost every day in the newspapers. there is no action against them. Even “patanjanli eye drops”are advertised as some wonder-cure for eye diseases..!!
    It is time to change the ethics code. Let there be true professional advertisements. Let the public know that such and such services are available at particular center. Healthcare is also considered an “industry” now. It has to pay taxes. Let the so called “ethics” be defined properly in the context of new realities rather stick to the aged “code of ethics” defined probably a century ago.

  2. This is a tricky business. What amounts to advertisement is not clear. Just putting up your name on a name plate on the doctors coat also could be considered as advertisement.
    I don’t think that there is any thing unethical in advertising the services, provided the facts given in the advertisement are true. False claims of educational qualifications, misleading claims of wonder cure etc could be considered as unethical.
    All the business professionals advertise their services and no action is taken against them. We see misleading claims of wonder cure, claims by the so called “yogis”, and even astrologers advertising their services. Most of the con-men advertise almost every day in the newspapers. there is no action against them. Even “patanjanli eye drops”are advertised as some wonder-cure for eye diseases..!!
    It is time to change the ethics code. Let there be true professional advertisements. Let the public know that such and such services are available at particular center. Healthcare is also considered an “industry” now. It has to pay taxes. Let the so called “ethics” be defined properly in the context of new realities rather stick to the aged “code of ethics” defined probably a century ago.

  3. This wasLong over due

  4. user
    Dr Hemant Bhardwaj June 29, 2016, 2:32 pm

    The problem is not in the listing services, but the paid listing services to come at the top of the search results, which effectively becomes paid advertisement. A lot of the doctors have complained that they can’t spend as much to be seen on the top, and the patients do not scroll through a few pages to get to the other non-paid listings. Same goes for google ad-words etc wherein it is a paid listing. What about the yellow pages that have been in existence for decades in various cities wherein the doctors have been paying to get listed. Directory services are not advertisement services, as long as it is absolutely free listing, and only factual information, and in the same manner as all the other listings without prejudice, then it will not be considered an advertisement in a court of law.

  5. If you advertise correctly as what you are and have taken pains and spent money to acquire new skill, i think it must be advertised for the benefit of patients. if you are not , than you will face the music in the court as CPA always hangs on your head.

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