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New Code of Conduct for Doctors Frozen by Center

The recent introduction of a new professional code of conduct for doctors has been put on hold by the Central Government. This decision, which comes 23 days after the initial notification, follows calls from organizations like the Indian Medical Association (IMA) and the Indian Pharmaceutical Alliance to revise certain conditions outlined in the code.

According to a notification by the National Medical Commission, the freezing of the new code has led to the reinstatement of the Indian Medical Council’s 2002 code of conduct. Curiously, the Central Government has not provided an explanation for this action.

Among the contested conditions, the IMA voiced its opposition to the requirement that doctors prescribe medicines using their generic names. The association’s demand was for this condition to be postponed until the quality of all medicines is assured. Furthermore, the IMA expressed concerns about the stipulation barring doctors from participating in conferences funded by pharmaceutical companies.

Welcoming the decision to freeze the new code of conduct, the IMA highlighted that the frozen code included provisions allowing the denial of treatment to fee-defaulting patients, but emphasized that emergency care couldn’t be refused.

Interestingly, a circular released by the National Medical Commission in June, which was part of the MBBS course restructuring, has also been similarly withdrawn.


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