Bengaluru: Online medical consultancy - Experts warn of inherent dangers


Daijiworld Media Network - Bengaluru (SP)

Bengaluru, May 16: Karnataka Medical Council (KMC) has warned that patients seeking to rely on online consultancies for their health issues to save time and money may be endangering their own lives. It has said that online consultations are likely to pose grave risks to the lives of the people as compared to advantages one gains out of them.

KMC, in reply to question raised by Bangalore Dermatological Society seeking clarification as to whether there is a provision to provide online treatment under the yardsticks set by Indian Medical Council, exposed the risks posed by online consultancies.

"Unless the patient is physically examined, the kind of ailments he has been suffering from cannot be diagnosed. When relying on online consultation, if the patient makes wrong diagnosis, his chances of facing peril are high. Therefore, online medical treatment is improper,” KMC said.

Indian Medical Council Karnataka chairman, Dr H N Raveendra, said that he is opposed to online medical service and cannot support the claim that patients have no time to meet the doctors. He points out that even after detailed body check, sometimes there are allegations of negligence on the part of doctors and hence feels that relying on people who claim to have medical knowledge without any avenue to check their credentials, is dangerous.

As per law, there is no provision to provide treatment to patients online but some IT companies have been resorting to allowing doctors to provide this service online. Karnataka Medical Council president, Dr B Veerabhadrappa said that the doctors who participate in such forums invite unnecessary risks. He said that providing safe environment for patients should be the primary duty of the doctors and pointed out that if something wrong happens, no one can be held responsible in case of online consultations.

Getting information about sicknesses through Google can be dangerous as some websites and fake IDs spread false information. Sometimes, even minor ailments are projected as very serious. Some sites provide half-baked facts and many have ruined their health by relying on such information. In many cases the patients, pregnant women, people suffering from sexual disorders or diseases get apprehensive by referring to online sites instead of meeting the doctors.

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Comment on this article

  • Sunil K, Mangalore

    Thu, May 16 2019

    Technology brings in changes and improvements to the quality of life. Doctors and medical practitioners must work with the new online medium instead of fearing loss of their hefty fees.

    DisAgree [3] Agree [3] Reply Report Abuse

  • Jossey Saldanha, Mumbai

    Thu, May 16 2019

    Only Doctors feel a threat to their Profession ...

    DisAgree [3] Agree [5] Reply Report Abuse

  • Dr.S.Kamath, Mumbai

    Thu, May 16 2019

    FAQ s on Online Consultation
    What is it?; Seeking medical advise from Dr through Telephone or Internet
    What is the danger ?: If Patient gets adverse reactions or gets into emergency then legally its treated as Regular Consultation and Dr can be dragged to court
    Then when and how to use online Consultation: Only if the patient has been seen by the Doctor in his clinic and then subsequent symptoms or additional details patient can get Telephonic consultation and get treatment
    Many times its difficult for the Doctor to be present at remote locations what is to be done then?
    Best is appoint one Nurse or Medical assistant and that Medical Assistant will talk with the Doctor on behalf of patient and seek medical advise .In case Doctor wants to know about Vital data or other signs to be elicited from Patient or an ECG has to be done then Medical assistant will do that and ask for Report from Doctor ,This would be a better option and not Patient directly seeking advise through Telephone/Internet

    DisAgree [9] Agree [4] Reply Report Abuse


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