Medical ethics and professional self-regulation: Some recommendations

Authors : Jesani, Amar

Published Year: 1996

Health for the Millions, 22(4), July-August 1996, pp. 24-29

In last one decade the health care professionals have been severely criticised both for being indifferent to their social responsibility and for not regulating themselves. As patients become more aware of their rights and the market in health care continues to operate without restraints exercised as a part of the self regulation, it is not difficult to foresee the emergence of new demands for imposing regulations on health care by the state. There is increasing evidence to suggest that, harassed by the rising cost of health care, the middle classes and the poor would welcome regulations. However, experience of the historical developed countries show that if such regulations are not accompanied by holistic planning to make health universally accessible to people, they invariably become self-defeating by encouraging the monster of private health insurance and the finance capital. The US is a classical example of having highest number of regulations over the health care market and yet, such regulations have neither brought down the cost of health care nor made consumers as well as providers happy. In fact, the increasing dominance of private insurance companies and corporations have encroached upon the professional independence of providers and done nothing to achieve the social goal of making health care universally accessible. Thus, the health care providers in our country will soon be required to make a choice between external regulations and the genuine self-regulations in tune with their social responsibility and the goal of achieving health care ethics.

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