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Consumer protection act in Medical Profession

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Consumer protection act Medical Profession
  • 1. Consumer Protection Act in Medical Profession DR HAR ASHISH JINDAL JR

2. Contents Rights of a Consumer Where can a Consumer complain?? Definitions Laws in Medical profession Consumer Protection Act 1986 (CPA) Who is liable and Who is not? Duties of a doctor Prevention is better SWOT Analysis 3. The Consumers International (CI), former International Organisation of Consumer Unions (IOCU), the umbrella body, for 250 organisations in over 120 countries has endorsed 8 rights. 1. Safety 2. Choose 3. Information 4. Heard The Consumer Rights No. 1 to 6 are also enshrined in the Consumer Protection Act, 1986. Rights of a consumer 5. Consumer Education 6. Redress 7. satisfaction of basic needs 8. Healthy Environment 4. What if the doctor does not treat me right?? PatientDoctor 5. When a consumer has any complaint / grievance against a Doctor/ Hospital (either Government or Private Hospital) Complaint the Medical Superintendent of the concerned Hospital with copy to Chief Medical Officer of his area not satisfied with the reply of the concerned official then he should send his complaint to the State Medical Council of his area. not satisfied then he can send his complaint to the Medical Council of India. Criminal type complaint - effected consumer can file complaint with the local Police Station- the expert opinion will be required to register any police complaint. File a case with the Consumer Forum, Civil Court and Criminal Court for seeking compensation for damages arising out of wrong treatment or removal of sensitive body parts during operation. 6. Laws in Medical Profession Doctors have been liable under laws such as Civil Procedure Code, Indian Penal Code, Law of Contractors, Law of Torts and other specific Legislation. under Section 304-A of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), the doctor who commits criminal liability is punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend upto two years, or with a fine, or both. Civil liability- arises in case of medical service rendered on payment of fee, under section 73 and 74 of the Indian Contract Act 1986 Under the Law of Torts (a wrong that is independent of contract) civil liability is applicable to doctors on the Grounds of professional misconduct. 7. Need for CPA Drawbacks Indian Penal Code, Law of Contracts, Law of Torts and other specific Legislation: (i) Delay to decisions ; (ii) High cost of bringing an actions; (iii) limited access to the courts ; (iv) Difficult to prove both negligence and causation. No provisions in the Indian Medical Council Act, 1956 ; (i) to entertain any complaint from the patient ; (ii) to award any compensation, etc. in case the negligence is proved 8. Definitions Who is a Consumer in medical profession.. A patient who pays to get services of doctor /hospital, Any person who pays for the patient, legal heirs / representatives of such patients, In case of death of patient who is a consumer, legal heirs (representatives) of the deceased will be considered as "consumer". If the payment has been made by any person who is not a legal heir of the deceased he too will be considered as "consumer. 9. What is a Complaint? Any allegation, in writing made by a complainant that the services hired or agreed to be hired or availed of by him suffer from deficiency in any respect. Who is a Complainant? Complainant means - (i) a consumer ; or (ii)the Central Government or any State Government (iii) any registered voluntary consumer association (iv) one or more consumers, where there are numerous consumers having the same interests ; who or which makes a complaint. Definitions 10. Definition Service means any description which is made available to potential users and includes the provision of facilities in connection with banking, financing, insurance, transport, processing, supply of electrical or other energy, board or lodging or both, housing construction, entertainment, amusement or the purveying of news or other information but DOES NOT INCLUDE THE RENDERING OF ANY SERVICE FREE OF CHARGE OR UNDER A CONTRACT OF PERSONAL SERVICES. 11. Negligence Professional negligence - the breach of a duty caused by the omission to do something which a reasonable man guided by those considerations would do or doing something which a prudent and reasonable man would not do. Medical negligence or malpractice - lack of reasonable care and skill or willful negligence on the part of a doctor in the treatment of a patient whereby the health or life of a patient is endangered. Example : If a junior doctor is involved as part of a surgery, then his duty, as far as the exercise of the specialist skill is concerned, is to seek the advice or help of a senior doctor. He will have discharged his duty once he does this and will not be liable even if he actually commits the act which causes the injury ,anything apart from his duty has a liability of negligence . 12. Consumer Protection Act(CPA) The CPA, 1986 is a benevolent social legislation that lays down the rights of the consumers and also provides means for their promotion and protection. In 1993, the Supreme Court brought the medical profession under the Section 2(1) (o) of CPA. Features: safeguard and protect the interest of consumers. simplification of procedures for seeking redressal of grievances of patients or their relatives. less expensive within a limited time frame 13. How doctors are included in CPA?? The National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commisions order decreed that the doctor - patient relationship is a contract for personal service and it is not master - servant relationship. The doctor-patient relationship is a contract for personal service and could not contract of personal service Hence patients who had sustained injuries in the course of treatment can sue doctors in consumer protection courts for compensation. 14. Administration Consumer Protection Councils Central Councils Chairperson: Minister in- charge of the Department of Consumer Affairs in the Central Government State Councils Chairperson: Minister in- charge of the Consumer Affairs in the State Governments District Councils Chairperson: District Collector AIM: promoting consumer aware Resolution passed by these Councils are be recommendatory in nature. 15. 3 tier system of CPA State Commission District forum National Commission 16. Where is a complaint filed? District Forum if the value of services and compensation claimed is less than Rs. 20 lakh State Commission if the value of the services and the compensation claimed does not exceed more than Rs.1 crore. National Commission if the value of the services and the compensation exceeds more than Rs 1 crore . 17. District Forum Chairman : a person who is qualified to be a District Judge Two or more members who have adequate knowledge or experience in dealing with problems relating to various fields, one of whom is a woman State Commission Chairperson: a person who is or has been judge of a High Court, appointed by the State Government two other members with qualifications and experience (as for District Forum) within the State National Commission Chairperson: a person who is or has been a judge of the Supreme Court to be appointed by the Central Government. 4 or more other members ,one of whom shall be a woman Chair person and Members 18. Location District Forum Rohtak District Consumer Court/Consumer Forum 3rd Floor Court No. 14 New Judicial Complex Mini Secretariat Rohtak,Haryana- 124001 Ph: 01262-245550 State Commission Haryana State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission, Bays No3-6, Sector 4 Panchkula 134112 Ph:0172-2567601 National Commission National Commission Upbhokta Nyay Bhawan,'F' Block, GPO Complex, INA, New Delhi-110 023 Telephone Nos. 011-24608801 19. Who is liable? All medical/dental practitioners doing independent medical/dental practice unless rendering only free service. All Private hospitals charging patients. All hospitals having free as well as paying patients and all the paying and free category patients receiving treatment in such hospitals. Medical/dental practitioners and hospitals paid by an insurance firm for the treatment of a client or an employment for that of an employee. 20. When is the doctor liable? Wrong Judgement Mere error in Judgement When a doctor takes a decision that turns out to be wrong but in that situation it seemed correct- inadvertent death All aspects covered but in retrospect highlights the cause of error Negligence Not all the scenarios were covered 21. How does adjudication of liability take place? Complainant files a written complaint the forum/ Commission, admits the complaint sends a written notice to the opposite party asking for a written version to be submitted within 30 days. proper scrutiny either filing of an affidavit or production of evidence in the form of interrogatories, expert evidence, medical literature, and judicial decisions. 22. How does adjudication of liability take place? The Forum/ Commision is satisfied that any of the allegations contained in the complaint about the services are proved Issue an order to the opposite party directing him compensation to the consumerFee waiver To remove the deficiency in the services 23. I am innocent Where should I go????? 24. Provision of appeal !!! Within 30 days An appeal against the decision of the District Forum can be filed before the State Commission. Within 30 days An appeal against the decision of the State Commission to the National Commission Within 30 days An appeal against the decision of the National Commission to the Supreme Court 25. TIME SCHEDULE FOR DISPOSAL OF COMPLAINTS/APPEALS Every complaint decided within 90 days from the date of receipt of notice by opposite party, where there is no requirement for testing of sample etc. In the event of such a requirement, the prescribed time is 5 months. Appeals disposed of within a period of 90

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