BENGALURU: Despite strict regulations against advertising by medical practitioners, one of the private hospitals in the city recently put up an advertisement in a National Daily displaying photos of doctors.
Dr K V Babu, a Kannur-based public health activist, has complained to the Karnataka Medical Council against Sparsh Hospital, Bengaluru for advertising with doctors’ pictures, which is against the Code or Professional Conduct, Etiquette and Ethics 2002.
In his letter, he states that on February 22, Sparsh Hospital featured the ad with the photos of four registered medical practitioners. He pointed out that the MCI’s Ethics Committee on January 22, 2013 in its agenda 11 stated “on a similar incident in Haryana, after hearing the deposition of both the parties in detail and after going through & reviewing all the relevant records & documents, the committee had found that the concerned doctors by publishing their names & photos in newspapers advertisement transgressed the medical Code of Ethics.”
Dr K V Babu has sought strict action against hospital authorities and concerned doctors. He told TNIE, “In such violations, the MCI can decide to remove doctors’ names from its list for 15 days.” H Veerabhadrappa, president, Karnataka Medical Council, said, “A complaint has been received and we will look into the details of the advertisement. We will take action if the rules are flouted. Publishing photographs of doctors is a violation of MCI’s code of conduct. They can advertise a department, but cannot put up doctors’ photographs.”
However, Guruprasad B R, Chief Marketing Officer, Sparsh Hospital, said, “ As per the Code Of Medical Ethics Regulations of 2002 notified by the Medical Council of India, there are some circumstances — such as whenever a doctor moves from one institute to another, or from one city to another, or in case of a change in the address where he/she practices — then advertisements can be released with photographs and a brief about the doctors and their practice/specialisation. The doctors whose photographs appeared recently joined us and hence the advertisement was done for the first time and is compliant with the norms and guidelines provided by the MCI.”
they can advertise:
On starting practice
On change of type of practice
On changing address
On temporary absence from duty
On resumption of another practice