NAGPUR: The number of claims for medical negligence cases is on the rise. A study by advocate Mahendra Kumar Bajpai, a leading authority on medical law, shows a 110% rise in number of medical negligence cases in India every year.
Bajpai was in the city on Thursday to guide students of NKP Salve Institute of Medical Sciences on 'Medico-legal issues'. Bajpai also revealed that 90% of all cases in medical negligence involve hospitals, and 12% of all the cases decided by consumer court are on medical negligence.
Between 60 to 66% of the filed cases are because of hospitals taking improper consent from relatives before performing certain procedures or switching hospitals, or improper documentation throughout the course of diagnosis and treatment. "All this is due to lack of awareness among doctors," he said.
Bajpai said that dealing with medico-legal issues should be taught to medical students. "Students are taught about ethics and morality. Surprisingly, there is not even a single chapter in their curriculum about law pertaining to medicine," he said. "Doctors confuse between ethics and law. They take Hippocratic oath, which is ethical part. Every MBBS student should be aware of Medical Council of India (MCI) Regulations, 2002, that directly talks about the legal part. There is a serious need to introduce it in the curriculum."
While interacting with students, Bajpai revealed that 90% of all cases in medical negligence involve hospitals, though 20 years ago the figure was only 50%). He added that 12% of all the cases decided by consumer court are on medical negligence.
Talking to TOI, Bajpai strongly opposed the proposed National Medical Council
(NMC), which will replace MCI. "I feel it's a bad decision to replace the entire body; specially the one which has big representation of bureaucrats, with a new one. I think a few amendments would have done. Every profession has a body consisting of professionals, who can better regulate the profession, there is no point in roping in professionals from another field."
Cases of medical negligence are on the rise in the city too, as witnessed in a couple of cases over last two months. A couple of days ago, relatives of a decreased patient created a ruckus, alleging that the hospital did not inform them of the patient being paralysed during treatment. The patient died after being taken to another hospital.
Two months ago, a young girl visiting a local orthopaedic to have a rod in her hand removed ended up losing her life due to the doctor's alleged negligence.