Is It Ethical For a Doctor To Charge Fee From Other Doctor’s Wife
Convert this page to a PDF
Posted: Thursday, June 16, 2011
by Dr K K Aggarwal
Heart Care Foundation of India
It is a matter which has been in debate in India for the last many years and both the Medical Council of India and State Medical Councils should come out with a statement on this issue, said Padmashri and Dr B C Roy National Awardee President Heart Care Foundation of India.
Only the American Medical Association Code of Ethics talks about this subject in Opinion 6.01 wherein they define that charging professional fee from a professional colleague comes under the Medical Courtesy and is not covered under the Professional Ethics.
As per their American Code of Ethics, it is left to the individual doctors to decide whether or not they want to waive off or give concession in their services to the fellow colleagues.
However, the American code categorically defined that if a person is covered under insurance with the clause of Co-pay then charging the insurance amount and waiving off of the co-pay part is a Professional Misconduct.
The situation is more complicated in India with multiple systems of medicines. Up till now, it was a routine that a medical doctor will not charge another doctor irrespective of the system of medicine but with the corporatization of hospitals and medical care, the scenario is changing.
Today most corporate hospitals are not offering discounts if a doctor or any of the family member is admitted in a hospital or is covered under medical insurance, central government scheme or public sector reimbursement etc.
No discounts are also offered if the doctor is getting admitted under a package where the cost of the doctor’s fee is included in the package, for example, if a doctor undergoes angioplasty under a package, he will not be offered any concession though the fee of the interventional cardiologist has been included as a part of the package.
No discounts are also offered in corporate hospitals with a system of full time consultants. Their fee is usually billed in the OPD Card Fee or the hospital medical fee.
Many corporate hospitals today may be offering discounts to doctors and their families but the discount is never more than the amount of money they usually would pay for a referral fee to any referring doctor.
The Medical Council of India or the State Medical Council, therefore, should come out with a recommendation so that no doctor feels embarrassed for charging or not charging the fellow colleagues.
This Article has been viewed 1,045 times. (Not updated in real-time.)Top-level comments on this article: (1 total)
» left by dr vivek kumar from bangalore 1 year 274 days ago.
I think it depends on our medical college,from where we graduated. Like, i was always told by our forensic hod regarding medical ethics and courtesy.. I am not going to charge any doctor from any path.. In absence of a clear guideline it becomes a problem whether to ask for discount or not when i visit a senior doctor !!» left by dr vinayak from vizag 1 year 39 days ago.
It is a real shame that some senior doctors do not follow medical courtesy and medical ettiquette while attending fellow doctor or his family members.It purely depends on the doctors mindset whether to charge or to give concession.I personally feel that all the doctors practicing in inida should never keep a fellow physician or his family members waiting while consulting him .If that is the case then what is the difference between normal people and us doctors who study this hard and make to this date.