Thursday, February 15, 2018

Should we compare ourselves with CAs, Lawyers and Architects?

Dr K K Aggarwal

Recipient of Padma Shri

Quiet often we argue that medical profession cannot be treated in isolation.

All other professions, be it law, CA, sportspersons, actors, hotels, musicians, social lecturers, astrologers may charge recklessly without doing as much, even one-tenth of doctors, with sincerity and seriousness.

But remember we are different.

We, and not they, are considered next to God. We, and not they, are social business houses.

We, and not they, are given permission to suffix Dr. before their names.

We, and not they, are bound by professional ethics.

MCI Code of Ethics Regulations 6.3 Running an open shop (Dispensing of Drugs and Appliances by Physicians):A physician should not run an open shop for sale of medicine for dispensing prescriptions prescribed by doctors other than himself or for sale of medical or surgical appliances. It is not unethical for a physician to prescribe or supply drugs, remedies or appliances as long as there is no exploitation of the patient. Drugs prescribed by a physician or brought from the market for a patient should explicitly state the proprietary formulae as well as generic name of the drug.”

Supreme Court of India: Samira Kohli vs Dr. Prabha Manchanda & Anr on 16 January, 2008:28. But unfortunately not all doctors in government hospitals are paragons of service, nor fortunately, all private hospitals/doctors are commercial minded. There are many a doctor in government hospitals who do not care about patients and unscrupulously insist upon 'unofficial' payment for free treatment or insist upon private consultations. On the other hand, many private hospitals and Doctors give the best of treatment without exploitation, at a reasonable cost, charging a fee, which is reasonable recompense for the service rendered.

Of course, some doctors, both in private practice or in government service, look at patients not as persons who should be relieved from pain and suffering by prompt and proper treatment at an affordable cost, but as potential income-providers/ customers who can be exploited by prolonged or radical diagnostic and treatment procedures. It is this minority who bring a bad name to the entire profession.”

The word exploitation in the first reference and reasonable in the second reference bind us different from other professions.

Opinions may differ but my personal opinion is that for medical professionals, earning is a byproduct and not the first objective.

Dr KK Aggarwal

Padma Shri Awardee
Vice President CMAAO
Group Editor-in-Chief IJCP Publications
President Heart Care Foundation of India
Immediate Past National President IMA

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