Tele-Consultation Cannot be Deemed Illegal Overnight: IAMAI

Bombay High Court verdict

According to Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI), in the absence of any legal provision that prohibits online medical consultations or prescribes the manner of communication between medical practitioners and patients, there is no illegality in providing medical consultations online in India subject however, to compliance with all other laws that may be applicable, including the MCI Act, The Code of Ethics and other laws that may be applicable to activities involved in the process, such as the Drugs and Cosmetics Act, 1940 that deals with the issuance of prescriptions.

A recent Bombay High Court verdict dated 27 July, 2018 which charged a doctor couple of medical negligence under IPC, Section 304(A), has had a negative impact on the tele-consultation industry, with many doctors mis-interpreting the judgment deeming tele-consultation as illegal. However, the fact is that the tele-consultation industry which serves more than 10 million patients annually cannot be deemed illegal overnight. The issue under consideration by the Court was “Prescription without diagnosis and hence resulting in death of the patient amounts to criminal negligence on the part of the doctors”. The ‘ratio decidendi’ as laid down by the Bombay High Court in this case can be comprehended to …

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