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Online consultation may lead to Suspension of Doctor’s License: Medical Council issues warning

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medical dialogues

Bengaluru: In the world full of advanced technology, many patients and doctors in India are switching to online mode of medical consultations. Taking serious cognisance of the practice which seem to be in violation of the MCI code of Ethics, the Karnataka Medical Council has recently given warning to the doctors involved in providing treatment through online mode.

In a conversation with Medical Dialogues, President of the Karnataka Medical Council, Dr Veerabhadrappa confirmed that the online consultation of doctors with patient is against the law, therefore the doctors are strictly told not to indulge themselves in such illegal practices.

Online and Telephonic consultations may appear as an easy alternate for visiting a doctor’s chamber. With the rise of online portal in India, the consultations online appear comparatively cheaper than personal visits to the doctors. The consultations while providing an ease of access and budget, at the same time come at a cost of lack of the physical examination of a patient-an integral part of a medical diagnosis

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Errors in such cases may have larger repercussions. Medical Dialogues team had earlier reported about the Bombay HC judgement in the case of telephonic consultations where it held that prescribing medicines to patients without diagnosis amounted to culpable negligence and turned down the anticipatory bail pleas of a doctor couple booked for the death of a woman patient.

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Read Also: ATTENTION Doctors- Telephonic Consultation Amounts to Culpable Negligence, will attract IPC 304

The judgement at that time made the IMA write to the Medical Council of India (MCI) to specify the scope of telemedicine clearly especially when it comes to Online consultations, online prescriptions and telemedicine

Read Also: Give clear-cut guidelines on telemedicine: IMA asks Medical council of India

The issue was once again brought to light when the Bangalore Dermatological Society (BDS) filed a complaint with the Karnataka Medical Council against an advertisement published in a newspaper by a tech health services company inviting doctors to join their panel of online consultants.

Responding to the matter Karnataka Medical Council recently issued a warning against such consultations to its registered doctors. “It is cardinal that online consultations are against the code of ethics since doctors need to see the patient physically and treat them clinically, which does not happen in case of online consultations. It may lead to further complications, which is nothing but playing with the life of a patient,” the New Indian Express quotes the state medical council as stating.

The council further clarified, “Merely because technology is advanced, it does not suffice treating patients online. Hence, it should not be executed.”

The medical council further added that ‘it is open to the idea of technology but only after doctors are properly trained and educated for virtual consultations.’

“Such consultations are detrimental to both patients as well as the doctor and may lead to many complications, which is nothing but playing with the life of a patient. The KMC can even go to the extent of initiating action (including cancellation of registration) against doctors who take up online consultations,” Veerabhadrappa H., KMC president, confirmed to The Hindu.


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Source: with inputs

11 comment(s) on Online consultation may lead to Suspension of Doctor’s License: Medical Council issues warning

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  1. user
    Dr siddarth raj lodha May 18, 2019, 11:19 am

    Online consultation should be allowed because many a time patient can’t assess their doctor for minor ailments and doctor assured his meeting as soon as possible if patient problem is not solved

  2. user
    Dr Rajesh V Shah May 16, 2019, 4:17 pm

    I think every patient needs to undergo a thorough clinical evaluation in the first instance. Subsequently review of lab reports, x-ray reports etc can be done online & the patient can be guided accordingly. Outright rejecting online advice will put the patients in lot of trouble as many geriatric patients do not have accompanying relatives who can help them in clinic visits.

  3. user
    Dr Deepak Bansal May 16, 2019, 1:27 pm

    I think it\’s much better when a doctor give online consultation after proper history taking , checking reports , than simply Medicines given by chemist in lot many cases . I had seen govt Hospital where a single doctor see more than 150 pts in few hrs . In that situation doctor even can\’t take proper history . Examination is dream . Few speciality as psychiatrist , sex related problem patient always shy to go to clinic for consultation , but can do online easily . There are lot of problems which can be treated with proper history , rather more than 50 percent opd consultation don\’t need physical examination , rather thoroughly history . Doctors know from history , which patient need physical examination of patients can guide online that you should go to hospital as soon . 2nd opinion is very consulted online , so its need to frame guide lines . Simply saying no to online consultation will be wrong.. as many patients can\’t visit doctor due to no time from work , heavy rush in cities . Online doctor can guide wheather they should go to doctor for physical examination or can take medicine from online consultation

  4. user
    Ittyerah, T.P. May 16, 2019, 12:06 pm

    I think consultation is not the issue ,Prescribing medicines on line is going to be problem. If a mishap or error occur professional negligence could be attributed and punishment,& demand for compensation shall arise . Perhaps after consultation one can give guide lines that which specialist to consult, what precautions patient has to take before he/she consult the specialist, What investigation he may have to undergo etc.One can give possible diagnosis and differential diagnosis subject to confirmation.

  5. user
    Brij Sharma MBBS MD FRCP May 16, 2019, 11:29 am

    I consulted three lawyers who say that there is no law against on line consultation
    If there is , somebody should publish it on line in this column
    Come on Virbhadrappa sahb
    It is good to give a preliminary opinion on line as it helps the patient and telatiives as long as you are not doing
    Icu management on line