IMA Threatens “Satyagraha” as Health Ministry Agrees to Change Benevolent Laws for Shielding Doctors Including a “Cap” on Compensation for Victims of Medical Negligence: PBT Lodges Strong Protest with Health Minister

The Indian Medical Association (IMA) has declared victory in bringing new amendments in several long-standing and patients-protective laws including the Consumer Protection Act (CPA), Clinical Establishment Act (CEA), PCPNDT Act (for preventing female fetuses) and even the Indian Penal Code (IPC). PBT has obtained an email communication from Dr. K.K. Aggarwal, IMA General Secretary and a close ally of disgraced Dr. Ketan Desai, which categorically shows that top IMA leaders met with the Union Health Minister, Mr. J.P. Nadda, on 10th November, 2015 when health minister agreed to act on 5 specific IMA’s demands for bringing changes in the CPA, CEA, PCPNDT and IPC for better protection of doctors (see email communication below between Dr. Aggarwal and other doctors). The IMA has also claimed that Mr. Nadda has already formed a high-power “Committee” to see how legal changes as demanded by the IMA can be implemented soon. Ironically, apart from high-rank government officials from different departments, this “Committee” also has doctor-members from IMA and MCI but nobody to represent the hapless patients of India.

The IMA leaders have also threatened that unless the “Committee” gives their report within 6 weeks and government initiates the process of necessary amendments of law, all doctors will join cease work (“Satyagraha”). The 5 IMA demands include implementation of a “cap” or maximum limit (5 to 10 lakh rupees) of financial compensation that can be awarded by the consumer courts for negligent death of a patient. The IMA has also sought amendments in the PCPNDT Act in order to loosen the power of the criminal law against the unscrupulous doctors who are involved with unlawful sex diagnosis of a pregnant woman only for the purpose of aborting female fetuses. On the other hand, IMA has also demanded that changes in the IPC should also be implemented so that in case any negligent doctor/hospital is challenged or presumed to be threatened by the victim of “medical negligence” or victim’s friends/families, they should be jailed for long time and charged with non-bailable offense. While PBT has always condemned any physical violence against doctors/hospitals because two wrongs cannot never be a right, IMA and medical community must be able to appreciate the underlying reason why ordinary law-abiding citizens sometime resort to violence after losing their loved ones in front of their eyes as a result of gross medical negligence. Lack of any hope of finding justice against the errant doctors by the corrupt and biased medical council is the root cause of most attacks on doctors. PBT has raised strong objection in a letter sent to the health minister by PBT president, Dr. Kunal Saha (see below). PBT has also brought this shocking anti-patients development to the attention of the chairman of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Health & Family Welfare (see below).

IMA’s Letter (5-point Demand)

Health Ministry letter (Nov 14, 2015)