The strictures against doctors taking commissions for referring patients issued recently by the Medical Council of India and the Punjab Medical Council now appear to be making their impact felt with diagnostic centres in the city instructing their staff to comply with the norms.
The MCI had taken serious note of the illegal nexus between doctors, diagnostic centres, pharmacy stores and super-specialty hospitals to earn commissions against their professional ethics.
After holding several meetings to discuss the issue, the Ludhiana Imaging & Diagnostic Centre Association (LIDA) was set up with the objective of ensuring compliance by all doctors with the code of ethics that bars them from accepting commissions or other favours for referring patients.
A member of the association, who requested anonymity, said: “It was made very clear during the formation of the association that no diagnostic centre would offer a commission to doctors for referring patients. However, not all diagnostic centres engage in such malpractices.” It was decided if any centre was found indulging in the practice the association would report it to the Punjab Medical Council for taking disciplinary action.
Dr Deepak Parashar, secretary of the Indian Medical Association, Ludhiana, said: “No doctor in the city accepts any sort of commission for referring a patient to an institution. There is an ethical committee that ensures all medical practitioners abide by the rules.”
Dr GS Grewal, president of Punjab Medical Council, said, “I’ll recommend to council as well as the government that charges for diagnostic tests should be reduced now that the practice of doctors taking commissions has been effectively stopped.”