Earlier this year, the Indian Medical Association (IMA) released a press release to all its 2.5 lakh members advising them not to advertise “No Treatment No Payment” or “Guaranteed Treatment” claiming that both are breaches of the Medical Council of India (MCI) Code of Ethics Regulations, 2002 and the Drugs and Magic Remedies Act, 1954.
The Medical Council of India Code of Ethics specifies that doctors can not make ads or guarantees of “Guaranteed Care.”
The MMC suspended that doctor’s couple’s licenses for placing advertisements for three months following complaints that they were promised guaranteed pregnancy on their clinic website and even offered refund if the treatment failed, which is a breach of medical ethics under the 2002 Indian Medical Council Regulations (Professional Conduct, Etiquette and Ethics).
WHAT IS ALLOWED
According to the 2002 Code of Ethics Regulations of the Medical Council of India (MCI), a doctor is permitted to advertise about the following:
- A medical practitioner is however permitted to make a formal announcement in press regarding the following:
- On starting practice.
- On change of type of practice.
- On changing address.
- On temporary absence from duty.
- On resumption of another practice.
- On succeeding to another practice.
- Public declaration of charges.
An institution operated by a doctor for a specific reason such as a maternity home, nursing home, private hospital, rehabilitation center or other form of educational institution can be advertised specifying the institution’s name, form of admitted patients, type of educational and other facilities provided and fees.
A clinic should have only the name, credentials, name of the medical college, name of the university, names and name of the specialty, and registration number of the state medical council.