Sunday, 25 November 2012

Code of Conduct for health practitioners released by Ministry of Health

Code of practice covers practitioners such as doctors, nurses and pharmacists
by Michael Woodhead
A new national "code of conduct" for medical standards and ethics for medical institutions and health practitioners has been issued and must be "strictly followed", the Ministry of Health has announced.
The code of conduct covers doctors nurses, pharmacists and other health practitioners as well as medical institutions and organisations under the Ministry of Health, the State Food and Drug Administration and the State Administration of Traditional Chinese Medicine.
The ten part code of conduct sets out basic standards such as emphasising adherence to medical ethics and national laws. It defines the role of health practitioners as having a people-oriented practice, adhering to a philosophy of healing the sick, and preventing and curing diseases. Practitioners are also required to be humanitarian, rational, sincere and and act in the spirit of medicine to provide patient-centred health services for the people.
The code also requires practitioners and health organisations to respect the patient's right to informed consent and privacy, safeguard the legitimate rights and interests of the patients and to respect the rights of patients where they may face discrimination because of race, religion, disability or socioeconomic status.
The code of conduct also stipulates the practitioners and health organisations must not seek to take advantage of patients through bribes, soliciting donations or rewards, nor should they engage in profiteering, fraud  or abuse of medical insurance. Practitioners and institutions must also avoid conflicts of interests when providing medical services and products and should advertise and promote their services and products in an ethical way.
It is also required that health practitioners be regularly evaluated to ensure they are maintaining good standards. Practitioners who violate the norms of medical institutions, may be criticised and educated, suspended or dismissed, depending on the seriousness of the infringement. Serious cases of negligence or malpractice may need to be investigated and death with in accordance with the disciplinary rules and case investigation and handling procedures.
The code has been disseminated to all provinces and organisations and will come into effect immediately.
Read more: Ministry of Health

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