The Alliance of Doctors for Ethical Healthcare (ADEH), an NGO comprising doctors who are against “deteriorating ethical standards and stark commercialisation” of medical practice, held its first national conference recently. At the event, doctors raised concern about the commercialisation of medical education. Dr Arun Gadre, one of the founder coordinators, said in a statement issued Friday, there was a need to ensure that fees charged in any private medical college was not higher than that charged by public medical colleges.
The alliance also seeks the development of a system of universal healthcare in every state, which would enable every resident to access good quality healthcare free-of-cost at the point of service. Public health budgets of central and state governments must be substantially increased, Gadre said, and public health services must be strengthened in a major way. Commercial insurance should not be involved in the proposed UHC, and practices of private healthcare providers must be appropriately regulated and rationalised, doctors at the event said.
The Alliance also agreed not to accept gifts, sponsorships and any kind of financial or non-financial incentives from pharmaceutical and medical device companies. “There is also a need to refrain from giving or taking commission or referral charges, directly or indirectly, related to any kind of patient referrals,” said Gadre.
ADEH also called upon its members and doctors across the country who want to practice “ethical, rational care”, to widely disseminate this appeal. The ADEH urged people to seek appropriate care, ask one’s doctor for information relevant to his/her condition. The doctors urged people not to demand any procedure based on hearsay or advertisements. “Organise forums and processes to dialogue with doctors and other healthcare professionals and support those providers who seek to practice ethically,” the statement added.