National Medical Commission’s New Guidelines

Context: The National Medical Commission (NMC) released its new guidelines- ‘Regulations relating to Professional Conduct of Registered Medical Practitioners”. About ‘Regulations relating to Professional Conduct of Registered Medical Practitioners”:
  • Right to refuse Treatment:
    • The doctors have also been given the right to refuse treatment if the patient cannot pay them.
    • Doctors may refuse treatment to abusive, unruly, or violent patients and relatives. However, they have been asked not to discriminate based on gender, race, religion, caste, social, economic or cultural grounds.
  • Prescribing Generic Medicines: Doctors must prescribe generic medicine.
  • Social Media Guidelines:
    • They may use social media only to educate and not solicit patients through testimonials by patients or images and videos of cured patients.
    • The guideline also forbids doctors from “purchasing” likes, followers, or any fees to boost their social media profile on search algorithms.
    • Doctors should not participate in telemedicine platforms that provide ratings, reviews, and promotions of certain doctors by any means.
  • Enforcing Discipline: In case of violations, a doctor may be given a warning to be more careful about the regulations or instructed to attend a workshop or academic programme on ethics, personal and social relations and/or professional training.
    • On repeated violations, the doctor’s license to practice may be suspended for a particular period.
  • Forbidding Commission: The guidelines warn against receiving commissions from pharmacies or diagnostic laboratories or attending conferences sponsored by the pharmaceutical industry.
  • Religious Beliefs and Medical Care: The comprehensive guidelines specifically mention that no doctor can deny birth control measures or abortions, based on religious beliefs.
  • Privacy and Confidentiality: The doctors have been asked not to discuss the specifics of the treatment of their patients or post their scans online.
  • Active Learning: The guidelines say that doctors should have studied 30 credit points in their relevant fields at the time of renewal of their license every five years.
  • Ethical Practices and Financial Relationships: The guidelines say doctors or their families should not receive any gifts, travel facilities, hospitality, cash or monetary grants under any pretext.
About Generic Medicines: 
  • Generic medicines are pharmaceutical products that are identical, or bioequivalent, to brand-name drugs in terms of dosage form, safety, strength, route of administration, quality, and intended use.
  • These medicines are produced after the patent protection for the original brand-name drug expires.
News Source: The Indian Express

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