IMA asks doctors not to advertise 'guaranteed treatment'

New Delhi: The Indian Medical Association (IMA) has issued a circular to all its 2.5 lakh members warning them not to advertise "No Cure No Payment" or "guaranteed cure" stating both are violations of Medical Council of India (MCI) Code of Ethics Regulations as well as Drugs and Magic Remedies Act.

The circular comes in the wake of the ongoing case against a doctor couple running an IVF clinic in Mumbai's Colaba whose licenses were suspended by the Maharashtra Medical Council (MMC) for three months following complaints that they were promised of guaranteed pregnancy on their clinic website and even offered refund if the treatment failed.

The Advertising Standards Council of India had filed a complaint against the doctor couple with MMC in 2014. A division bench of justices S C Dharmadhikari and G S Kulkarni of the Bombay High Court has refused to grant interim relief to the doctor couple.

"Soliciting patients directly or indirectly by medical professionals is not permitted under the MCI rules and regulations. A doctor cannot also guarantee the results of their treatment," said Dr K K Aggarwal, Secretary General of IMA.

The IMA has also launched an awareness programme to educate its 2.5 lakh doctors across the country on ethical practices. "Given its serious implications, we have been constantly making an effort to educate all our members on what is allowed and what is not allowed and ways to safeguard oneself and ensure delivery of a transparent service.

"There is also an urgent need to educate patients about how the success of all treatments cannot be guaranteed. They must understand that doctors are committed to saving lives and helping solve health issues. They, however, are humans and guaranteeing results is not possible," said Dr Aggarwal.

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