No doctor can advertise online and any such violation would be viewed seriously, the Tamil Nadu Medical Council has said.
After the council came to know that nearly 300 doctors had advertised online, it has sent a circular to deans of all medical colleges and other medical associations.
In the circular, the council has asked all registered medical practitioners (RMP) to refrain from online advertisements.
This was based on several complaints received on such online advertisements given by doctors promoting their practice.
As per the Professional Conduct, Etiquette and Ethics Regulations notification clause 6.1.1 of the Medical Council of India, it is a misconduct for RMPs to advertise themselves, their practice, qualifications, associations, affiliations, honours and skills in order to solicit patients and professional gain (except for formal announcement for a short period as exempted in the said clause), the circular said.
K. Senthil, president of the Tamil Nadu Medical Council, said: “We came across at least 300 doctors who had advertised online and shortlisted such professionals. We decided to first issue an advisory asking them to refrain from online advertisements.”
“The Advertisements by doctors are never allowed. Many of them have displayed their photographs, mentioned degrees that are unrecognised and have made claims of being trained in courses,” he said. Certain doctors get undue advantage online based on payments made rather than by qualifications and merit, he added.
The circular noted that online advertisements on websites promoting such activity commercially would be considered a misconduct and would attract appropriate action by the State Medical Council. The display of photographs are also not permissible.