Hoarding on doctors’ kickbacks will not go, says Mumbai hospital
Mumbai city news: The hoarding put up by the hospital in Bandra-Kurla Complex read ‘Honest Opinion, No Commission’, which IMA said insulted the profession.mumbai Updated: Jun 15, 2017 01:22 IST
Mumbai: The Asian Heart Institute may not pull down the hoardings on kickbacks taken by doctors for referring patients for advanced medical tests, after the Indian Medical Association (IMA) critised it of insulting the medical fraternity.
The hoarding put up by the hospital in Bandra-Kurla Complex read ‘Honest Opinion, No Commission’, which IMA said insulted the profession.
The hospital wrote a letter to the Maharashtra Medical Council, the state health minister and medical education minster on June 14, signed by 50 doctors from the hospital. It said that cut practice had become prevalent . It had become difficult for a doctor or a hospital to pursue the profession honestly.
Cut practice is a commission given to a doctor to refer a patient to another doctor or hospital for investigations such as MRI, CT scans and X-rays.
Meanwhile, the IMA lodged a complaint with the Advertising Standards Council of India on June 13 saying that the advertisement was made in poor taste and was offensive to the medical profession. “The hoarding suggested that all hospitals except the Asian Heart Institute accepted commissions and indulged in cut practice,” said Dr Jayesh Lele, an IMA member.
Industry insiders however, told HT that the practice was quite rampant in the health-care industry.
Dr MG Pillai, a cardiologist in the city, said that a popular diagnostic laboratory had once offered him 30% commission to refer his patients to them for routine tests such as lipid, renal and thyroid profiles. “I don’t indulge in unethical practices and I denied them. But I know how rampant such practices are in the city,” he added.
Dr Samiran Nundy, who wrote an article in the British Medical Journal in 2014 about corruption in the Indian health-care system, said that the message on the hoarding could have been more subtle. “The hoarding implies that they are the only hospital that doesn’t take commissions, which probably is not the correct way of saying it,” he said.