Science

After controversy, Doctolib will strengthen its validation procedures – Sciences et Avenir

The Doctolib group, a French prescribing heavyweight at the center of controversy because it refers to naturopaths with questionable practices, will step up screening procedures for specialists listed on its website, it announced on Thursday.

The group has been criticized by healthcare professionals and patients for allowing its users to make appointments with naturopaths, some of whom practice dangerous practices that are close to quackery and sectarian aberrations.

Critics have particularly targeted naturopaths calling themselves Thierry Casasnovas and Irene Grosjean, two powerful personalities in the field but with a discredited position in the healthcare world.

On Tuesday, the Order of Physicians asked Doctolib to tighten the ethical rules for registering on the platform.

Faced with controversy, on Monday the group already announced the suspension of 17 practitioners’ profiles.

On Wednesday, he announces in a press release that he has taken “the first series of measures” (…) “aimed at strengthening the verification and reporting procedures for the professionals mentioned on his website.”

For medical practitioners engaged in unregulated wellness activities, representing 3% of Doctolib practitioners and 0.3% of appointments (including naturopaths), a dedicated team will review their identity and presentation.

There was a first update to the site’s homepage that explicitly mentioned that they were not healthcare professionals, Doctolib claims.

Doctolib “in particular ensures that the patient cannot confuse a wellness practitioner with a healthcare professional,” he elaborates.

The site announces the opening of a consultation with its Medical and Professional Committee, Miviludes (an interministerial mission against sectarian deviations), health professional unions, health orders, patient associations and health authorities to better regulate the treatment of unregulated practices” on the platform.

The consultation “will mark the beginning of a new series of measures,” the site promises.

In addition, Doctolib is also announcing measures targeting regulated medical practitioners, who make up 97% of medical practitioners.

Since the creation of the site in 2013, out of almost 250,000 medical practitioners mentioned in total, the platform has been the victim of persons who have created false profiles, usurping, among others, the identity of medical professionals, the last two cases of fraud date from June and August 2022 she says.

Appointments cannot be made at Doctolib until the eligibility check is in effect, the site says. To do this, the platform decided to cancel the 15-day period that has hitherto been given to medical professionals so that new residents can make an appointment before opening their practice.

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