41 Doctors get Medical Council Rap for Photographs, claims in Advertisements

Published On 2022-07-05 09:37 GMT   |   Update On 2022-07-05 09:40 GMT

Dehradun: Terming the practice of publishing photographs of doctors in the advertisements as "unethical", the Uttarakhand Medical Council (UKMC) has recently warned the doctors of future action including suspension of their license if they continue such practices.In this regard, the State Medical Council in the last six months has issued notices to 41 doctors, who allegedly...

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Dehradun: Terming the practice of publishing photographs of doctors in the advertisements as "unethical", the Uttarakhand Medical Council (UKMC) has recently warned the doctors of future action including suspension of their license if they continue such practices.

In this regard, the State Medical Council in the last six months has issued notices to 41 doctors, who allegedly violated the 'Professional Conduct, Etiquette and Ethics Regulations, 2002' of the Council, reports TOI.

Apart from this, the Council has also warned the doctors against using unnecessary claims regarding their degrees on the advertisements and hoardings, which might result in misleading the public.

Instead, State Medical Council has advised the doctors to comply with the norms of "continuous medical education" and fulfill the requirements of 150 hours of CME credit hours to "revive memory of ethics of the medical profession".

Also Read: Hospital, Doctors under Medical Council radar for offering free treatment as supermarket deals

As per the latest media report by the Times of India, warning of taking action, the Council has also directed the doctors to "focus on work and not the limelight". It has clarified that their faces in advertisements were "an embarrassment, a clearcut violation of laws, and unethical".

Such a warning comes after the Apex Medical Body in Uttarakhand had written a letter to the IMA and other associations to inform their doctors not to do unethical advertisements. At that time the council had explicitly expressed its reservations against the practice of using the photographs of doctors in the advertisements and using unnecessary claims that might mislead the public.

While commenting on the matter, Dr DD Choudhury, member secretary of the Ethical & Disciplinary Committee of UKMC told Medical Dialogues, "Doctors were putting up their own photographs in the advertisement- that is not tolerable. They can give advertisements for any new set-up, any machinery they added in their hospitals. They can also advertise the hospital's photographs. Only photographs of the concerned doctors should not be there."

"We are not totally against advertisement. When a new hospital opens for public consumption, the doctors' names, their degrees, their specialties and also the facilities available at the hospital, opening and closing time of the hospital, emergency service- all these details are for public consumption and the Medical Council has no problem advertising these details. But the photographs are not for public consumption. That is unethical," he explained.

Addressing the problem where a doctor was claiming to treat multiple specialties on the ads, Dr. Choudhury added, "Suppose a doctor of MD Medicine cannot write that he/she is a cardiologist or urologist etc. because there is a separate Super-specialization for that. The public should not be misled. That is the most important thing. Advertisement should not be unethical and public should not be misled."

"Before issuing warnings, we had written a letter to the IMA to inform their doctors not to do unethical advertisements. We had clarified especially that the photographs and unnecessary claims which might mislead the public should not be there in the advertisements," he mentioned.

"For now we have issued warnings to them and asked them to do CME," he further added.

TOI adds that recently medical council took action against a major Dehradun-based hospital for such malpractices. In fact, the Council has now clarified that such practices of using the photographs of doctors on hoardings, and using unnecessary claims on ads might cost the doctors their license to practice as well. "Action by the council may range from suspension to suspension of license," Uttrakhand medical council said.

While commenting on the issue, a member of the state medical council told TOI, "Doctors working as employees of big facilities have been told to convey this message to their administrators. Such malpractices are being promoted by the corporate world for earning money."

Also Read: Uttarakhand: Woman doctor, journalist killed in accident on way to Gangotri

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