One thing worth pointing out that private healthcare in a dominant position in the Indian market but that position varies from state to state. The reasons for this are various but include concerns about the poor quality of state funded medicine. Only minority of Indians have private health insurance. The healthcare market is very marketing driven but the lack of enforcement of regulations has lead to all sorts of incredible (and probably illegal) claims being routinely made. It is impossible for a provider to compete effectively in such a market without also making such claims. When Indian vendors venture into international markets, they can sometimes find themselves in trouble with regulators in those markets because they assume that if they can get away with breaking the law in India, they can do so elsewhere.
Indian legislation and regulation relating to homeopathy is difficult to read. Partly because of many of documents are longer, partly because there are a number of them but mostly because the legal English used is opaque. Whilst there will be another post or two that examine them in detail, the most important document is the Homoeopathic Practitioners - (Professional Conduct, Etiquette & Code of Ethics) Regulations 1982
Code of Ethics
In short, homeopathy in India has statutory regulation. It is regulated by the Central Council of Homoeopathy (CCH) which has the power to discipline or even strike off homeopaths that do not abide the Code. To quote from the Code -
Which effectively forbids any type of advertising than the specified. That it does not mention broadcast or online media is irrelevant. The internet and social media has many Indian homeopaths promoting themselves and their services in a aggrandising manner.
It could be argued that such a prohibition is anachronistic and that Indian homeopaths are in a competitive market and that if they did not advertise, they would get no business. This an argument for changing the Code, not for non-compliance.
|12.||Acts of Negligence|
This would appear problematic to most people but homeopathy is recognised as a form of medicine in India. It would still be possible for a patient to persue either civil or criminal legal procedings against a homeopath for neglience.
Physician to obey law and regulation:-
A physician, -
The importance of this will become apparent in the next post.
|17.||Upholding honour of Profession|
A practitioner of Homoeopathy shall, at all times, uphold the dignity and honour of this profession.
|18.||Membership of Medical Society|
For the advancement of his profession a practitioner of Homoeopathy may affiliate himself with Medical Societies and contribute his time, energy and means to their progress so that they may better represent and promote the ideals of the profession.
|19.||Exposure of Unethical Conduct|
A practitioner of Homoeopathy shall expose, without fear or favour, the incompetent, corrupt, dishonest or unethical conduct on the part of any member of the profession.
|20||Association with Unregistered Persons|
A practitioner [*omitted] shall not associate himself professionally with any body or society of unregistered practitioners of Homoeopathy.
20 is problematic for some India homeopaths who are active on the internet. They do turn up in forums etc that also have non-medically qualified homeopaths present.
.[* The following acts of commission or omission by a practitioner shall constitute professional misconduct and he shall be liable for disciplinary action, namely:-
J) certainly is a problem with certain Indian homeopaths offering courses and certificates to the non-medically qualified. Yes, mostly outside of India. This is interesting enough in itself to justify a separate blog post. N) could also be problematic as it talks about "journals". Homepaths routinely post photos of patients on their websites and social media.
* Disciplinary Action.—
In short, advertising by Indian homeopaths is in breach of the CCH Code but it's not the only thing it is in breach of...