Malpractice or Poor Judgement?

965 words 4 pages
Malpractice or Poor Judgement?

The practice of medicine has never claimed to be an exact science. In fact, it is very much a hit-and-miss situation. Taking into account these above factors, India seems to be on a destructive trend regarding their level of health care. Ever since private medical services fell under the Consumer
Protection Act (COPRA) in April 1993, the number of malpractice suits filed against doctors has begun to soar. For example, in Kerala, approximately 1800 cases (15% of the total number of cases) have been filed. As Dr. Dipak Banerjee of the Indian Medical Association puts it: "It's degenerating into a kind of witch-hunt." For years the community of doctors across India was immune to charges of
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Yet we are becoming the scapegoats for everybody's woes."

Another major problem is that this prestigious profession is being piled in with a whole range of other services. This has led to speedy trials in consumer courts, whose panels are comprised of people who do not have the knowledge to differentiate between genuine malpractice and errors in judgement.
As well, consumer courts advocate a "Yes/No" approach, while medicine has many " grey areas" for treatment. What really irritates doctors is the fact that under
COPRA, they are treated like other services such as those which provide entertainment and food. However, the services that they supply should be more than proof that an alternative system of review of medical conduct should be developed. Before the medical services fell under COPRA, patients had two major routes by which to file claims of malpractice: The Medical Council of India, and courts of law. Patients did not prefer to go to courts of law due to their lengthy trials and high costs. The Medical Council had the power to suspend doctors for negligent acts. However, because the Council was comprised mainly of doctors, they were very hesitant to discipline their colleagues. Also, the
Council did not have the power to compensate the "victims" of malpractice. This is a serious problem


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