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As reported by K P M Basheer in hindu.com on 30 August 2010: The Hindu : Kerala / Kochi News : RTI Act comes to doctor's aid RTI Act comes to doctor's aid Drive against medical association's Pepsi endorsement MCI step against IMA for breaking ethics code IMA says it will not endorse products in future KOCHI: A Kerala doctor's campaign, using the weapon of Right to Information Act, against an unethical practice by the Indian Medical Association (IMA) has turned triumphant with the Medical Council of India (MCI) taking steps against the IMA for endorsing commercial products. Last week the MCI served a show-cause notice on the IMA for violating its code of ethics by endorsing Pepsi's Tropicana fruit juice and Quaker oats which brought a mealy Rs.2.25 crore to the largest professional body of doctors in India. The step followed a decision by the MCI's Ethics Committee which met last week. The IMA has been asked to send in a reply by September 1. Dharam Prakash, IMA's secretary-general, told The Hindu over the phone that the association would soon reply to the notice and that it had already decided not to endorse any products in the future. He, however, said that the Pepsi endorsements would run through March next because of a contractual obligation. One-man campaign The MCI's hand was forced by a relentless one-man campaign by K.V. Babu, an ophthalmologist of Payyannur in Kannur district over the past two years. Irked by the unethical endorsement, which ‘clearly was for easy monetary gains,' Dr. Babu, himself a member of the IMA's central committee, shot off letter after letter to the IMA asking it to cancel it. He pointed out that under the Indian Medical Council (Professional Conduct, Etiquette and Ethics Regulations) 2002, endorsement of commercial products was an unethical act. (Section 6.1.1. says: “Soliciting of patients directly or indirectly, by a physician, by a group of physicians or by institutions or organizations is unethical.”) He moved the MCI, the statutory body authorised to regulate the medical profession, pressing it to get the endorsement cancelled. He petitioned the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare asking it to force the MCI to take action. He also moved the National Human Rights Commission. Obstacles Officials in the MCI and Health Ministry as well as the IMA stonewalled initially. But Dr. Babu wouldn't leave it at that. He extensively used the RTI Act to source relevant documents. He marshalled a plethora of information through RTI requests, which helped him argue his case effectively. In December 2009, the MCI made amendments to its Code of Ethics. Section 6.8 was added to regulate the “code of conduct for doctors and professional associations of doctors in their relationship with pharmaceutical and allied health sector industry.” Dr. Babu was quick to point out that the IMA came under the definition of ‘professional associations of doctors.' Meanwhile, a few months ago, the Central government sacked the MCI following corruption allegations against its then president Ketan Desai, who was later arrested by the Central Bureau of Investigation. The reconstituted MCI took a lenient view of Dr. Babu's cause. It took the stand that the code of ethics applied to both individual doctors and their associations. Reacting to Dr. Prakash's stand that the Pepsi endorsement cannot be withdrawn before it ran its full course, Dr. Babu wanted the IMA to cancel the endorsement at once. “How can an act, once it has been proved to be unethical, be allowed to continue for a few more months?” He wants the MCI to take ‘appropriate and exemplary action' against all the 187 doctors who attended the April 12-13, 2008 meeting of the IMA's central committee held at Puri, Orissa. This committee had backed the IMA decision to endorse the Pepsi products.
Atul Patankar posted a topic in RTI in MediaAs reported at punjabnewsline.com on 16 September 2009 SANGRUR: Indian Medical Association,Sangrur revealed the fact that no vehicle in the office of Civil Surgeon has got any clearance from pollution department since year 2007. Vide an application dated 15/07/2009 filed under RTI act State working council member of IMA and former President of IMA, Sangrur Dr K G Singla sought some information about the vehicles in the office of Civil Surgeon Sangrur. The reply vide letter no RTI/09/522 dated 25/08/2009 surprisingly revealed that no vehicle in the office of Civil Surgeon has got any clearance from pollution department since year 2007. While as the health department is concerned about the prevention and control of diseases and thereby promotion of health in general public; it seems totally indifferent towards the potential damage to environmental health. Still more shocking is the fact that none of the vehicles in the office of Civil Surgeon Sangrur bears any type of insurance. In the event of any accident God can only compensate the victim. As per laws the insurance of all vehicles is compulsory but when it comes to higher authorties the law seems to have different yard sticks. The log books even show a lot of misuse of vehicles in the name of official duty- a detailed report is being compiled. IMA Sangrur is deeply concerned over the issue and demands an honest probe into the issue. Some other members of IMA Sangrur have also sought information about various issues from the office of Civil Surgeon. In response to one RTI application filed by Sita Ram it has been revealed that the Civil Surgeon Office Sangrur falsifying the department’s tall claims of making all out effort aimed at curbing female foeticide- in the last three years has not spent any money on the implementaion of PNDT act and MTP acts aimed at curbing sex determination and female foeticide. Source: PunjabNewsline.com - Custodians of health playing with environmental health
Hi All First of all, this is an amazing forum! I am impressed beyond imagination, and though I used to call myself educated; it is only after reading through this forum that I realized how ignorant I was. The two issues I am currently facing are: 1. My non-issuannce of passport. I had applied in Aug 2007. The police verification took place on 24th Jan 2009, after re-submition of personal particulars form. Since then, there has been no update. The online status has been the same since the date I applied, "House locked for police verification". I am going to file a request under RTI Act to get information regarding my application, in an as detailed manner as possible. 2. I am an ex-cadet of the Indian Military Academy, and I was medically invalided with 30% permanent physical disability in Mar 2007. I have not received any communication regarding the monthly ex gratia and the disability grant that I am eligible for. I am going to file a request under RTI Act to get information regarding the status, in an as detailed manner as possible. Any for me are most welcome and appreciated. I will keep this thread updated about how both of the above proceed. One query I have is, is there a way to find out the status of a request filed under the RTI? Also, can a cheque, say from ICICI Bank or some such be used to make the RTI fee payment? Thanks and Regards Sairam THE RIGHT TO INFORMATION ACT 2005.doc THE RIGHT TO INFORMATION ACT - MoD.doc