NEW DELHI: In a move aimed at checking corruption among the medical fraternity, the Medical Council of India is likely to come out with new guidelines which will fix punishments for doctors accepting gifts from drug companies.
The new guidelines would be brought about under the Indian Medical Council (Professional Conduct, Etiquette and Ethics) (Amendment) Regulations, 2015. The MCI is likely to notify the guidelines soon, a member of the MCI council said.
“These guidelines were always there. But there was no enforcement. So we are tweaking them here and there a bit and have decided to notify them,” he said.
According to the new guidelines, any doctor who accepts gifts, travel facilities or hospitality worth Rs 5,000 to Rs 10,000 from a pharmaceutical company would see his or her name removed from the national or state medical register for three months. If the value of the freebies is between Rs 10,000 and Rs 50,000 the penalty would go up to six months, and for those priced Rs 50,000 to Rs 1 lakh, the errant doctor’s name would remain struck off the medical register for a year. For free gifts amounting to more than Rs 1 lakh, the period would be more than a year.
Repeat offenders under all slabs would be punished on a case-to-case basis, depending on the gravity of the offence.
The new guidelines also say that though medical practitioners may carry out research work funded by pharma companies, they should ensure that the research proposals have all the necessary clearances.