Doctors criticise Indian Medical Association for ignoring unethical practices

BMJ 2012; 344 doi: (Published 26 June 2012) Cite this as: BMJ 2012;344:e4256
  1. Ganapati Mudur
  1. 1New Delhi

Some doctors in India have decried what they say are attempts by the Indian Medical Association to deny the prevalence of unethical practices in medicine and to resist key government initiatives that are expected to improve healthcare services in the country.

The Forum for Medical Ethics Society and the Medico Friend Circle, two health groups established by doctors, have jointly called on the association’s officers to “do some genuine introspection” and tackle the problems rather than deny them.

Their appeal comes after the association earlier this month criticised a television talk show hosted by a popular “Bollywood” actor, Aamir Khan. The show had highlighted what some doctors themselves have described as unethical practices: sharing fees for referring patients to specialists, accepting gifts from drug companies, and irrational prescribing of drugs and diagnostic procedures.

“Many of us in the medical fraternity have been worried about the state of affairs,” said Sunil Kaul, convener of the Medico Friend Circle and a trustee of the Action Northeast Trust, a charitable organisation involved in community health activities in the northeastern state of Assam. “We felt it was important for doctors to support key messages that the television show tried to convey,” Kaul told the BMJ.

The …

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