With the suspension of two doctors by the Maharashtra Medical Council: IMA educates its 2.5 lakh members on the ethics that govern them New Delhi, March 26, 2016: With the suspension of two doctors by the Maharashtra Medical Council (MMC) for three months on account of putting up advertisements; the IMA educated its 2.5 lakh members about what is allowed and what is a clear violation of medical ethics under the Indian Medical Council (Professional Conduct, Etiquette and Ethics) Regulations, 2002. As per Indian Medical Council (Professional Conduct, Etiquette and Ethics) Regulations, 2002, doctors cannot solicit patients directly or indirectly. No doctor can make high claims about any procedure. The Drugs and Magic Remedies (Objectionable Advertisements) Act, 1954 is an Act of the Parliament of India. It prohibits advertisements of drugs and remedies that claim to have magical properties, and makes doing so a cognizable offence. According to the recent decision of the MMC, both suspended the doctors provided infertility treatment and claimed guarantee of treatment and offered to return money to patients if they don’t not get the results. Last September, MMC issued show-cause notices to 40 doctors for putting up advertisements on print, TV and social media. After a hearing, some doctors were issued warning letters and some were suspended. The MCI also took actions against many Delhi hospitals for putting up advertisements. Speaking about the same, Dr SS Agarwal – National President and Padma Shri Awardee Dr KK Aggarwal – Honorary Secretary General IMA in a joint statement said, “The IMA is committed to making the medical system in our country more transparent and efficient. It is for this reason that we constantly strive to educate our members about the ethics that govern the profession. We urge the entire medical fraternity to abide by the MCI regulations and be cautious about anything being released by others in their name.” According to the MCI Regulations 6. UNETHICAL ACTS: 6.1 Advertising 6.1.1 Soliciting of patients directly or indirectly, by a physician, by a group of physicians or by institutions or organizations is unethical 6.1.2 Printing of self-photograph, or any such material of publicity in the letter head or on sign board of the consulting room or any such clinical establishment shall be regarded as acts of self-advertisement and unethical conduct on the part of the physician. However, printing of sketches, diagrams, picture of human system shall not be treated as unethical. 7.12 An institution run by a physician for a particular purpose such as a maternity home, nursing home, private hospital, rehabilitation center or any type of training institution etc. may be advertised in the lay press, but such advertisements should not contain anything more than the name of the institution, type of patients admitted, type of training and other facilities offered and the fees. 7.13 It is improper for a physician to use an unusually large sign board and write on it anything other than his name, qualifications obtained from a University or a statutory body, titles and name of his specialty, registration number including the name of the State Medical Council under which registered. The same should be the contents of his prescription papers. It is improper to affix a sign-board on a chemist’s shop or in places where he does not reside or work. IMA advice to doctors An announcement is allowed in the press, when one starts their practice, changes the type of their practice, their address, on temporary absence from duty, = resumption of another practice, succeeding to another practice and public declaration of charges. In all such announcements the doctors photo should not be published In announcements pertaining to the setting up of a new hospital, the doctors photographs should not be published Sign boards for directions to one’s clinics or as advertisements are not allowed to be put up on the road or in chemist shops The doctors clinic should contain only details such as the doctors name, qualifications, medical college, university, titles type of specialty and State medical council registration number. Doctor owned and run establishments (maternity home, nursing home, private hospital, rehabilitation center or any type of training institution) can be advertised for by mentioning the name of the institution, type of patients admitted, type of training provided, other facilities offered and the fees.