Medical CPA- Becoming Tool to extract money from Doctors- NCDRC penalizes patient


 In a reverse trend and one of the rare instances where a patient asking for 25 lakhs of compensation was penalized by NCDRC for frivolous complaint.  

In present era, when patient is no more “patient” and defined as consumer, doctors’ status has been reduced to merely a service provider in lieu of little money. With Medical Consumer Protection Act has acquired roots, the whole system of medical delivery and healthcare has changed. Most striking is this entire fiasco is the “Us and Them” syndrome that seems to afflict all the stake holders. Doctors are pitted against every one- versus administrators, patients, managers, society and lawyers. 

There is no dearth of such  patients,  relatives and  lawyers who are ready to try their luck, sometimes in vengeance and sometimes for lure of  huge money received in compensations.  This encouragement and instigation of lawsuit against doctors has become a major disadvantage for medical profession.

Zero fee advertisements and fixed commission ads on television by lawyers in health systems in certain developed countries is an example of instigation against medical profession. They lure patients to file law suits and promise them hefty reimbursements.

        The patients’ right activists, media, administrators,  managers and lawyers have made their career and wealth out of it. Doctors know the truth that complications are not preventable beyond a point and are part and parcel of treatment.  The line separating errors or natural complications is really blurred and arbitrary. The doctors who work in life and death situation know it well that even natural poor prognosis can be labelled and proved as error by retrospective analysis and wisdom of hindsight and more certainly with luxury of time at disposal for lawyers and courts.

It becomes an unbalanced match specially when the amount of money which was paid to doctor to save a life was peanuts as compared to now being paid to punish him.

 Zero fee advertisements and fixed commission ads on television by lawyers in health systems in certain developed countries is an example of instigation against medical profession. They lure patients to file law suits and promise them hefty reimbursements.

  One of the  rare instances where a patient asking for 25 lakhs of compensation was penalized NCDRC10,000 rupees for frivolous  complaint

A mere perusal of the prayer clause of the Complaint shows that on the face of it itself an exaggerated claim was made without any justification given.

14.     The OP is a qualified Radiologist, having post graduate degree, MD (Radiology), and having extensive experience in performing USG of abdomen. There are certain limitations in USG. Sometimes the renal calculi are not visible due to intestinal gases shadows in the abdomen, sometimes stones even pass out through urine. Even the best of Radiologists cannot be better than the machine used for the USG, he cannot improve on the technical soundness or advancement of the machine available at his command. The more advanced a machine, the more precise is its report. However, not every hospital can afford the latest state of the art machines. And the Radiologist has to function with the machine available to him.  Pertinently, an advanced Apollo Diagnostic possesses USG 730 (GE) Machine having Advanced Live 4-D Voluson, which has more precision and accuracy, was used in the USG cited at (c) in para 11 above, in which left lower ureter stone was detected.

15.     The State Commission appears to have hastily arrived at its findings of medical negligence on the part of the OP, without examining to the requisite depth, the limitations and technicalities of USG, and without taking independent expert opinion on the subject where experts in the field could have thrown light from standard medical literature and brought forth limitations of the level of advancement of the machine used for imaging. As such its appraisal cannot sustain.

On the basis of the entire material on record and the critique made hereinabove no negligence is attributable to the OP Dr. Hulesh Mandle.

It is apparent that the instant Complaint was filed by the Complaint with wrong current address of the OP, beyond limitation, with highly inflated claim. The same, being bereft of any substance, being frivolous and vexatious, merits dismissal with cost of Rs. 10,000/- contemplated for such Complaints under Section 26 of the Act, 1986, to be deposited in the Consumer Legal Aid Account of the State Commission within six weeks from this Order. 

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