Indian patients often consider doctors physicians treating them or their near and dear ones as demi-gods primarily because of lack of awareness pertaining to medicine and allied areas on the part of the common man. Although the awareness is gradually moving northwards amongst the common service seeker, there is still a huge divide between an emerging nation like India vis-a-vis the developed nations of the west. The blogger had first hand experiences of brutal exploitation not only in the mom and pop hospitals of India, but also in the leading corporate healthcare chains, which are now being converted into series of case studies for the customers and regulators. The need of the customers is to be aware about his rights and google out literature pertaining to the treatment, after-effects, cost benefit analysis, costings etc. so that he is not taken for a jolly good ride by the so called ‘demi-god’!
Other blog and micro-blog from the same blogger are http://www.manishankarthetrainer.blogspot.com and http://www.twitter.com/manitwitts and face-book page, https://www.facebook.com/pages/manishankarthetrainerblogspotcom/200629686674250?ref=hl
Doctors must be dealt with strictly for medical negligence: Supreme Court
NEW DELHI: Doctors and medical establishments must be dealt with strictly for their negligence in giving treatment to patients, the Supreme Court on Thursday held and asked the government to enact laws for effective functioning of and nursing homes.
“The doctors, hospitals, the nursing homes and other connected establishments are to be dealt with strictly if they are found to be negligent withwho come to them pawning all their money with the hope to live a better life with dignity,” a bench of justices CK Prasad and said.
The bench directed Kolkata-based AMRI Hospital and three doctors to pay over Rs 11 crore which includes interest to a US-based Indian-origin doctor who lost his 29-year-old wife during their visit to India 14 years ago.
The bench said that its decision would act as deterrent to people associated with practice of medicine and do not take their responsibility seriously.
“The patients irrespective of their social, cultural and economic background are entitled to be treated with dignity which not only forms their fundamental right but also their human right. We, therefore, hope and trust that this decision acts as a deterrent and a reminder to those doctors, hospitals, nursing homes and other connected establishments who do not take their responsibility seriously,” the bench said.
“The central and the state governments may consider enacting laws wherever there is absence of one for effective functioning of the private hospitals and nursing homes. Since the conduct of doctors is already regulated by the Medical Council of India, we hope and trust for impartial and strict scrutiny from the body,” it said.
The bench said that the institutions and individuals providing medical services to the public at large must educate and update themselves about any new medical discipline and rare diseases so as to avoid tragedies.
SC awards record Rs 6 crore for medical negligence
The court held three doctors — Dr Balram, Dr Sukumar Mukherjee and Dr Baidyanath Haldar — guilty of negligence in treating Anuradha, who had contracted a rare skin disease. Prasad and Mukherjee have been directed to pay Rs 10 lakh each to Saha, while Halder will pay Rs 5 lakh. AMRI hospital, where took place, would have to pay the remaining Rs 5.71 crore.
The court said the hospital additionally would pay an interest of 6% on the amount from the date of filing of claim by Saha. If the interest is taken to be simple in nature, then the hospital would have to pay another Rs 6 crore. Abani Roy Chowdhury, the fourth doctor involved in the case, died during the pendency of the proceedings.
For Saha, fixing the liability for medical negligence had become a crusade. Even as he went from pillar to post to secure justice, he started an NGO to take up the cause of ethical medical treatment and against excessive/wrong medication by corporate hospitals.
Setting a milestone in compensation in medical negligence cases, which the apex court observed was on the rise in India, given the unregulated growth and commercialization of healthcare services, Gowda directed the three doctors and the hospital to file compliance report of payment to Saha in eight weeks.
Anuradha’s died 15 years ago when she and her husband were on holiday in Kolkata. She contracted toxic epidermal necrolysis and developed rashes all over her body. On May 11, 1998, she was admitted to AMRI hospital in Kolkata, where she was treated till May 16. As her condition didn’t improve, she was taken to Breach Candy Hospital in Mumbai in an air ambulance. She died on May 28 following complications from bad diagnosis and an overdose of steroid that was administered at the Kolkata hospital.
In March 1999, Saha filed a petition before the NCDRC demanding Rs 77 crore from the four doctors, AMRI hospital and its directors. He also demanded Rs 25.3 crore from the Mumbai hospital, but later withdrew that claim.
The NCDRC had termed the claim, a total of Rs 102 crore, as perhaps the highest ever claimed for medical negligence before any consumer forum in India. Anuradha had first consulted Mukherjee after developing skin rashes on April 25, 1998. The doctor had told her to take rest. When the rashes increased, Dr Mukherjee, on May 7, prescribed Depomedrol injection (80 mg twice daily), a step which was later faulted by medical experts at the apex court. Instead of improving, her conditioned worsened rapidly after the administration of the steroids. She was admitted to AMRI on May 11 under Mukherjee’s supervision. In Breach Candy, she was diagnosed to be suffering from toxic epidermal necrolysis.
In 2009, the Supreme Court had absolved all the doctors and the hospitals of criminal negligence in treatment, which spared them of imprisonment. However, the court had held them severally and individually liable for medical negligence leading to Anuradha’s death.