Medical Council of India to investigate advertisements by doctors in violation of the Code of Medical Ethics
Advises ASCI to report State-wise list of doctors to take necessary action and seeks help to report fake doctors
19th September 2014: Medical Council of India (MCI) backs Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI) for taking action against doctors whose advertisements violate the Medical Code of Ethics Regulations, 2002. In their letter, The Ethics Committee of MCI has strongly backed ASCI for its efforts and self-regulatory mechanism of ensuring ethical advertising practices.
ASCI has observed and processed a large number of complaints of health care products, services and clinic advertisements which has mention of or promotions of doctors. As per MCI rules, doctors cannot promote themselves in advertisements. As an immediate action, ASCI reported to MCI a list of such doctors who were resorting to advertisements in newspapers and on Television and also making misleading, false and unsubstantiated claims. As a response to that, MCI has directed ASCI to send them a state wise list of Allopathic doctors registered with MCI/SMC who have been advertising their products or services so that appropriate action can be taken.
MCI has also directed ASCI to refer to the Indian Medical Registry for obtaining details of doctors making misleading claims in their advertisements and have instructed State Medical Councils (SMC) to further investigate and take action against doctors who do not follow the Medical Council (Professional Conduct, Etiquette & Ethics) Regulations, 2002 within a period of six months. This would help MCI to take required action in accordance with the code of Medical Ethics. MCI also sought help from the ASCI to report advertisements by fake doctors to appropriate Law Enforcing Authorities of the Country.
According to Narendra Ambwani, Chairman, ASCI, “This is an important landmark for ASCI in our efforts for protecting the consumers from misleading advertising. Medical Council of India has been very supportive and has advised ASCI to ensure strict action against allopathic doctors who malign the image of medical professionals and violate the Medical Code of Ethics’.
About Advertising Standard Council of India (ASCI):
Advertising Standards Council of India is a self-regulatory voluntary organization of the advertising industry. ASCI & its Consumer Complaints Council (CCC) deal with Complaints received from Consumers and Industry against Advertisements which are considered as False, Misleading, Indecent, Illegal, leading to Unsafe practices, or Unfair to competition, and in contravention of the ASCI Code for Self-Regulation in Advertising. Under its National Ad Monitoring Service (NAMS) started in May 2012, ASCI now also proactively monitors over 80% the new print and TV ads released in the country every month, for contravention of its Code.