IMA not in favour of NHRC’s decision to publicly hear medical negligence cases
As per media reports the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) will be publically hearing and addressing medical negligence cases against both the government and private hospitals during a two-day grievance redressal forum being held at the Tata Institute of Social Sciences campus in Mumbai from January 6-7, 2016.
The Indian Medical Association feels that creating an additional forum for patients to complain without any clear-cut rules or guidelines in place will only add to the ongoing cases of violence against doctors in the society.
NHRC is scheduled to hear around 125 complaints filed against erring hospitals from four states - Maharashtra, Gujarat, Goa and Rajasthan. This includes as many as 55 cases of medical negligence from Maharashtra, 30 each from Gujarat and Rajasthan, and 10 from Goa.
At present, patients who have grievances against private hospitals go either to the medical council or the consumer court or the police.
IMA feels that the right way is to go about doing this is to file complaints with the State Medical Council. It is the duty of the State Medical Council to then decide the case on basis of its merit and refer it to the consumer court for compensation if any deficiency of service is found; refer it to criminal court if they find any violation of Indian Penal Code or refer it to NHRC if they find any violation of human rights. If none of the above is found then the case should be closed on priority to avoid any unnecessary harassment of the doctor.
It is not correct to subject a medical doctor to investigation and harassment simultaneously by the police, consumer court, NHRC court and the ethics committee of medical council.
IMA has written to the Prime Minister of India to amend the MCI act and give more powers to the medical council.