A draft of the National Medical Commission Registered Medical Practitioner (Professional) Regulations, 2022, has been released by the Ethics and Medical Registration Board (EMRB), addressing the issues of registered medical practitioners.
Released on 23rd May, the regulations outline the code of conduct of the RMPs along with certain significant changes. Among these changes, the board specified that RMPs registered under the NMC Act 2019 as practitioners of modern medicine or Allopathy alone, should use the prefix, “Med Dr”.
Additionally, the board has specified rules for RMPs with a foreign degree, seeking registration to practice in India upon clearing the Foreign Medical Graduate Examination (FMGE) or the National Exit Test (NExT).
According to media sources, such RMPs must use medical prefixes and suffixes, in a bid to bring clarity to patients and the public. Moreover, RMPs are directed not to claim themselves as clinical specialist, unless they have received an NMC-recognised training and qualification in a particular branch of modern medicine, the board added.
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Dr Yogender Malik, a member of the EMRB, highlighted that they had received several complaints about doctors practising more than one stream of medicine. The new guidelines have been designed to direct all RMPs registered either with the NMC or SMC (State Medical Council) to add the prefix, 'Med Dr', as proof of practising only modern medicine or Allopathy.
Malik added that the draft has been left in the public domain to allow stakeholders such as doctors, patient groups, medical experts and other associations and organisations to present their views and comments. According to sources, the draft addressed different issues of RMPs, ranging from registration to professional duties, including responsibilities towards patients and healthcare professionals alike, issuance of medical reports, prescription of generic medicines over branded, advertisements and self-promotion, and much more.
In its draft, an RMP has the right to refuse from continuing treatment of a patient if they failed to pay the previous fees, (Not applicable to government service or emergency doctors), however, doctors are not allowed to abandon the patient. In fact, NMC has stated that strict action will be taken against anyone violating rules, further adding that “cognisable offences involving moral turpitude may result in [the] suspension of license to practice”.
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The draft rules have also outlined the importance of telemedicine along with emphasising Continuous Profession Development (CPD) and linking CPD points gained by an RMP to the renewal of an RMPs license by the EMRB or the respective State Medical Council.
While the draft has outlined several aspects addressing different issues of RMPs, some hiccups have been pointed out as well, especially surrounding the sensitivity pertaining to spousal and patient consent.
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Source: New Indian Express