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Doctors’ cut practice: Public to have a say in new law

Mumbai city news: The practice is deeply entrenched in the health care system in the country, according to the Medical Council of India.

mumbai Updated: Jul 12, 2017 15:14 IST
Aayushi Pratap
Aayushi Pratap
Hindustan Times
Mumbai city news,doctors' cut practice,Medical Council of India
According to the Indian Medical Association, the hoarding put up by Asian Heart Institute was in ‘very poor taste’

The nine- member committee which has drafted a bill to look into the alleged ‘cut practice’ among hospitals and doctors, will soon put out the draft of the law for public suggestions.

Cut practice refers to commission given by one doctor or hospital to another for referring a patient for investigations such as MRI, CT scans and X rays.

While the Medical Council of India’s code of ethics clearly states that dividing fees is wrong, the practice is deeply entrenched in the health care system in the country, according to the committee members.

Dr Pravin Shingare, director, Directorate of Medical Education and Research (DMER), who is one of the committee members, said that nearly 60% of the doctors in the city indulge in ‘cut practice’. “It has become a menace, and the government wants to now take a serious look at this problem,” he said.

“Like every draft bill, this one too will be put up on the website for public reaction and suggestions,” he added.

Read: Indian Medical Association criticises Mumbai hospital for hoarding about kickbacks

Dr Sanjay Oak, chief operating officer, Prince Aly Khan Hospital in Mazgaon, who is also a committee member, said it is unfortunate that the government has to step in to curb such a practice among doctors.

The issue of cut practice came to the fore after Bandra-Kurla Complex based Asian Heart Institute put up a hoarding which read ‘Honest opinion, No commission’, which according to the Indian Medical Association- India’s largest body of doctors, brought disrepute to the profession.

Dr Jayesh Lele, associated with the IMA had told HT that the advertisement suggests that all hospitals other than the Asian Heart Institute, which put up the hoarding, indulges in cut practice. “The advertisement was made in very poor taste,” he said.

Meanwhile, Dr Ramakant Panda, a cardiac surgeon and director, Asian Heart Institute, said “The practice exists because no action has been initiated against any doctor till now. We need to formulate a proper law.”

Read: Maharashtra plans law to ban kickbacks to doctors for referring patients

First Published: Jul 12, 2017 15:14 IST