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Doctors get green light to advertise their services

Dentists, doctors and health institutions can now advertise their services, the Medical Practitioners and Dentists Board has said.

The practitioners can put up adverts in television, radio, billboard, online or newspapers as long as the services are provided in Kenya.

However, the board prohibits the practitioners from using intermediaries or middle-men as a means of attracting business because this would amount to “professional touting”.

A gazette notice made on July 22 by Health Cabinet Secretary Cleopa Mailu says the advertisements should not promise to achieve a particular outcome for the patient.

It should also not give a promise that failure to obtain the outcome promised shall constitute a waiver of the fees for the practitioner or health institutions.

PATIENT CONFIDENTIALITY

In addition to being accurate, objective and respectful, the adverts must not give information that “is likely to create unrealistic or unwarranted expectations about the effectiveness of the health services offered”.

The adverts should also exclude the names or identities of patients and should not attempt to denigrate other practitioners or health institution and does not infringe on patient confidentiality.

The adverts should also not use the Red Cross and Red Crescent or any other copyrighted signs; or use names, photographs, images and diagrams, which may be misleading to the public.

The medical board further outlaws arranged referrals where commission or otherwise is arranged or paid.