Wednesday, 24 June 2015

On the occasion of Doctors Day, IMA will organize blood donation camps all over the country

A Doctors Day initiative

On the occasion of Doctors Day, IMA will organize blood donation camps all over the country

Celebrate the success of the IMA Mediation, Conciliation & Grievance Redressal Cell

New Delhi, June 24, 2015: “The Indian Medical Association on the occasion of Doctors day falling on the 1st of July will organize at least 30 blood donation camps across the country, one in each state" said its National President, Dr. A Marthanda Pillai and Honorary Secretary General, Dr. KK Aggarwal in a press conference today. In addition to this, they will also make a directory of rare blood donors and pledge to continue to organize blood donation camps in the future. The blood donation camps will be organized from 28th June to 1st July.

The success story of the IMA Mediation, Conciliation & Grievances Redressal Cell at the IMA headquarters in New Delhi was also discussed. The concept of the cell has seen great successes one or two cases getting solved every month. Till today, more than 40 cases have been sorted out by the IMA Mediation, Conciliation & Grievances Redressal Cell.  IMA has also written to all its State and local branches to start similar initiatives their respective States.

"Most of the complaints that we receive are an outcome of a communication gap between doctors and patients," said Dr. KK Aggarwal & Dr. A Marthanda Pillai.

Cases received by the IMA Mediation, Conciliation & Grievances Redressal Cell
Four cases out of the 40 received were of a financial dispute. To solve the problem, the IMA Mediation Cell called upon the Medical Superintendent of the respective hospitals and along with the relations of the patient and thereafter settled the issue between the parties amicably.
In one case, the IMA Mediation Cell opined that the patient should have the right to choose the type of medicine or medical device to be used. The hospital must not make it compulsory and force the patients to buy medicine from their own pharmacy.  If the patient can get a substitute to the medicine at an economical price from elsewhere, they have full rights to do so and the hospital must allow them to use it during the treatment
Ever since Jacob Mathew Judgment of the Supreme Court was passed, people have started filing cases against doctors under section 304A of IPC. In five cases, IMA could intervene and provide the expert opinion to the families of the patients. All the patients were satisfied with IMA’s opinion and subsequently cases were not filed in 304 A.

In four cases, there existed a mediclaim dispute with various hospitals.  The main dispute was that the insurance company denied them mediclaim and the hospital had not communicated effectively to the families of the patients that the denial of cashless mediclaim did not mean that the entire claim was denied. The IMA mediation cell helped and guided all the families and subsequently all of them got their mediclaim.

In one of the cases, the patient wanted to consult a doctor on the PSU Panel. The panel reimburses the specialist consultant with only Rs 150.  Given that the specialist was not available, the patient requested to be directed to another consultant.   As the other consultant was not on the penal of BHEL, he could not provide this service.  Counseling was done and explained that only an empanelled doctor can see a patient on PSU fees.

One typical complaint was that the doctor purposefully referred him to a particular CT Scan Imaging Centre so that he can fleece money from the patient.  The mediation cell having gone through the records found that the patient was sent to the center with minimal X-ray radiation exposure.  The cost of CT at such center would be higher. Once the patient was given the underlying explanation, his complaint was withdrawal.

One Patient complained that he got his platelet count done from three different laboratories and all reports were different.  He filed a complaint against the hospital on the ground that they purposefully gave the wrong reports so that they could admit him. The IMA mediation cell heard both the parties and explained to the patient that platelet count using different machines can give different results and variation can be up to a count of 40,000. As per new recommendations, platelet counts are no more the deciding factors for admissions. It is the difference between the upper and lower blood pressure, if lower than 40, which is the indicator of seriousness
In another case, the patient complained that he was overcharged for stents. The party was explained that the cost of the stent would depend upon the metal and which type of drug is used in the stent. Also, whether the stent will stay in the body for the six months or not etc.

Another interesting case, which came, was that of a patient who complained that that a particular doctor had given drugs , which cost him, Rs.3000 for a month and the same were available at IMA Jan Aushudhi Store at the cost of Rs.300/-. He suspected a doctor chemist nexus.  Counseling was done and the patient was made to understand that the prices of drugs may vary depending on their packaging, size, taste, aftertaste, dosage form, etc.

All drugs approved by DCGI can be administered to patients and that the DCGI approves both cheaper and costly versions of drugs and both are equally safe. Cheaper drugs do not mean they are fake or bad and costly drugs do not mean that they are more effective.  All drugs will have the same efficacy, but one may pay less if the drug is given three times a day and pay more for a drug if it is to be used only once daily

 Other members of the mediation cell are  Dr. V.C.P Pillai from Kerala and Dr.Harish Grover from Delhi.

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