Doctors and Hospitals Demand “Cap” On Compensation For Medical Negligence: PBT Demands “Accountability” On Doctors and “Cap” On Doctor Fees and Hospital Charges

In an open debate before a public forum aired in NDTV today (Dec. 6), top leader of the Indian Medical Association (IMA) and several private hospital as well as diagnostic center owners argued that government must impose a “cap” or limit on the maximum amount of compensation that the negligent doctor/hospital may have to pay for causing wrongful death of a patient. Although the doctor-leaders did not explicitly say what would be the amount of this “cap”, IMA has been claiming for a long time that no hospital or doctor should pay more than Rs. 10 lakh for death of a patient under any condition. Dr. K.K Aggarwal, IMA Secretary-general and a long-time close associate of disgraced ex-MCI president Dr. Ketan Desai, attempted to make a laughable argument that IMA is demanding for a “cap” in medical negligence cases not to protect the doctors/hospitals but only for the sake of the “poor” patients of India. The doctor-leaders also asserted that Judges in the consumer courts or even in the Supreme Court are not equipped to adjudicate appropriate compensation in “medical negligence” cases because Judges are not able to understand the complex science of medicine. However, PBT president Dr. Kunal Saha also participated in this discussion through the Internet from his residence in USA and strongly argued that the idea to put a “cap” for compensation in medical negligence cases is totally misguided. Dr. Saha also argued that despite medical rules and regulations, private hospitals and doctors charge exorbitantly and bankrupt many patients and their families, often through bogus testing and medical procedure. He demanded that government should assure strict accountability for all doctors and hospitals if there is any hope to end the rampant incidence of medical practice in India. Mr. Sishir Chand, PBT coordinator in Delhi (Tel: 9810919282) also attended this public forum. The entire NDTV program may be viewed at the following link:

http://www.ndtv.com/video/player/we-the-people/medical-compensation-a-bitter-pill/393754