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Can a telephonic medical consult be regarded as a valid consult?

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Dr KK Aggarwal and Ms Ira Gupta    31 May 2018

The MCI, Clinical Establishments (Registration and Regulation) Act (CEA) and National Commission for Human Rights (NCHR) Acts are silent on this issue. However, in a Supreme Court of India judgment (SCI: 3541 of 2002, Martin F. D’Souza vs Mohd. Ishfaq, dated 17.02.2009), Justice Markandey Katju and Justice G S Singhvi gave directions to all medical establishments and doctors and observed “54 (iii b): No prescription should ordinarily be given without actual examination. The tendency to give prescription over the telephone, except in an acute emergency, should be avoided.”

It is implied that a tele-consult is a full consult but should be used only in an emergent situation and not as a routine. Being a consultation, it can be billed.

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