Doctors can't promote themselves by advertising, it's illegal: Dr Ashok Sinha

By Our Correspondent

Agartala, April 2, 2024

A debate has recently arisen in the medical community in the state over whether doctors can promote themselves through advertisements. BJP State Vice President Dr Ashok Sinha posted a comment on his Facebook page about this a few days ago. He wrote in his Facebook page that

"Doctors can't promote themselves with advertisements. It's illegal. Dr Ashok Sinha also said if you see such advertisements, don't go to that doctor."

This Facebook post of Dr. Ashok Sinha has gone viral on social media. Many people Have started searching for information on what the legal provisions are in this regard. Not only privately practicing doctors, it is reported that many government hospital doctors put advertisement in newspaper and social media handles.

Earlier it was seen that doctors of many private nursing homes or hospitals are issuing advertisements to see patients through newspapers and social media. But recently it has been reported that many government hospital doctors are doing the same.

It is reported that an advertisement of former BJP MLA Dr Dilip Das was also published to see patient in a local newspaper today. today contacted Dr Ashok Sinha about the authenticity of his Facebook post. Dr. Ashok Sinha said that doctors cannot attract patients through advertisements, as stated in the rules of the Medical Council of India. Quoting the MCI guidline he said,

6.1 Advertising:

6.1.1 Soliciting of patients directly or indirectly, by a physician, by a group of physicians or by institutions or organizations is unethical. A physician shall not make use of him / her (or his / her name) as subject of any form or manner of advertising or publicity through any mode either alone or in conjunction with others which is of such a character as to invite attention to him or to his professional position, skill, qualification, achievements, attainments, specialties, appointments, associations, affiliations or honors and/or of such character as would ordinarily result in his self aggrandizement. A physician shall not give to any person, whether for compensation or otherwise, any approval, recommendation, endorsement, certificate, report or statement with respect to any drug, medicine, nostrum remedy, surgical, or therapeutic article, apparatus or appliance or any commercial product or article with respect to any property, quality or use thereof or any test, demonstration or trial thereof, for use in connection with his name, signature, or photograph in any form or manner of advertising through any mode nor shall he boast of cases , operations, cures or remedies or permit the publication of reports thereof through any mode. 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 practice.

On switch-over to another practice.

Public declaration of charges.

6.1.2 Printing of self photograph, or any such material of publicity in the letter head or on sign board of the consulting room or any such clinical establishment shall be regarded as acts of self advertisement and unethical conduct on the part of the physician. However, printing of sketches, diagrams, picture of human system shall not be treated as unethical."

That is, according to Dr. Ashok Sinha, doctors cannot invite patients through advertisements. If any doctors look for opportunities to see patients through such advertisements, he calls those doctors fraudsters. However , if a practising doctor changes the venue of his chamber or schedule of seeing patients or he is on leave for some days, a notice in this regard may be put up in his chamber or even in media in an innocuous manner but the content should contain nothing that may be considered inviting or attracting patients.

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