New Delhi: The Indian Medical Association (IMA) has directed its office bearers to refrain from drinking with “non-doctors” and become “brand ambassadors of health” for the society. It has also asked its members to observe dry days on July 1 (Doctors’ Day) and September 5 (Teachers’ day).
Earlier, it had also advised doctors not to have their “past, present, and prospective patients” on social media friend list and consume alcohol in front of them at social gatherings.
In the new advisory, which is part of IMA’s ‘alcohol policy,’ the representative voluntary organisation of doctors said, “No alcohol should be served at IMA meetings.”
It has also suggested a “safe limit” for alcohol consumption — 18 ml for male and 9 ml for female doctors. It said that the doctors have a responsibility to put into practice what they preach to patients on leading a healthy lifestyle.
The IMA advised them to maintain dignity before patients, a dictum also laid down in the Medical Council of India’s (MCI) code of ethics.
“A physician shall uphold the dignity and honour of the profession. A patient should be able to trust his doctor and have confidence in him. Any public display of ‘undignified’ behaviour erodes trust in the doctor and gives the profession a bad name,” said Dr KK Aggarwal, national president of the IMA.
Recently, the IMA had also advised its doctors to start saying ‘thank you’ to their patients, after a survey revealed that 40 per cent patients expect their doctors to thank them.
Calling the doctor-patient interaction a major factor that influences patient satisfaction, the IMA said that the ‘thank you’ drive would narrow the gap and mistrust between doctors and patients.