In order to entice the naive and vulnerable patients, huge Billboards and newspaper advertisements by private doctors and hospitals with attractive medical packages and/or superlative claims for medical success are seen everywhere in India. In the absence of any effective regulation, Doctors and wealthy hospitals have completely transformed Indian healthcare delivery system as a highly profitable business in the mode of selling soaps, TVs or gold ornaments. But advertisements in any form that try, directly or indirectly, to promote medical practice or attract the innocent patients are absolutely illegal in accordance to the MCI “Code of Ethics & Regulations”.
But with rampant corruption crippling the medical regulatory systems in MCI and state medical councils (SMCs), no doctor or hospital ever cared to observe the laws against advertisement. In a rare move, Maharashtra Medical Council (MMC) has issued warning to 40 doctors in the Mumbai area for promoting themselves through public advertisement. But does “warning” really mean anything to these unscrupulous doctors? We will have to wait and see.