Referral and Transfer to Doctors or Hospitals

Last updated on May 31, 2024

All patients have a right to ‘continuity of care’. Service and quality of care given to a patient cannot change if a patient is:

  • Referred to a different doctor
  • Transferred to a different facility.

It is the patient’s right to get complete information while transferring including1:

  • Reason for transfer
  • Alternative options available
  • Confirmation of acceptance of transfer from the other facility

Sometimes doctors may request consultation with specialists. In addition, during treatment with specialists, the attending physician must share the patient’s case summary. This will enable the specialist can give his opinion in writing to the physician.2.

Regardless of favors, like monetary benefits, commissions, or any benefits in kind, doctors cannot have any commercial interests. For instance, the World Health Organization has put out guidelines that may be adopted to ensure efficiency in the medical referral system.

  1. Section 3.6, Indian Medical Council (Professional Conduct, Etiquette and Ethics) Regulations, 2002. []
  2. Section 3.6, Indian Medical Council Regulations, 2002. []

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