Health Minister Anbumani Ramdoss admitted that the Medical Council of India (MCI) “Code of Ethics is not being enforced” and said that “It is unethical to advertise for cures that have not been tested and scientifically validated.” Vowing to “not allow such advertisements,” Ramdoss said that his Ministry will be happy to validating such claims.
Ramdoss’s reaction comes on the heels of several advertisements from medical professionals trying to promote themselves in questionable practices or endorsing drugs to cure chronic illness. Such behavior is an obvious violation of Code of Ethics Regulations of 2002 subsequently adopted by State Medical Councils.
The MCI says that it is unable to initiate action against errant doctors since the regulations require a formal complaint from someone objecting to these advertisements. Besides, the council cannot initiate action on non-allopathic practice. The regulations are also a set of shoddy set of guidelines that read more like advisories.
While the discussion on this topic is very timely, it would also do well to have the MCI have a re-certification mechanism so practitioners can renew their licenses every year and earn an internal rank for such accreditation. There is a lot of medical malpractice in India and the lack of awareness of the population and traditional belief system holding the doctor in highest esteem is actually helping the propagation of bad medical practice. Additionally, there is no system in India that governs the medical practice for animals. The Indian Constitutions does not differentiate between humans and animals and this has been pointed out by a SC verdict but most of India is not aware of this equality notion of the Constitution.