In regard to the investigation of complaints against Section 8.4 of Medical Council of India (MCI) “Code of Ethics & Regulations, 2002” has unequivocally stated, “Decision on complaint against delinquent physician shall be taken within a time limit of 6 months”. While most complaints of ethical misdeeds or medical negligence against doctors are dismissed by doctors-only members of the medical council, other victims who are in search of medical justice after losing their loved ones remain in endless darkness as their complaints collect dust at the council office without any investigation.
For the past many years, PBT has been helping countless victims of medical negligence by guiding them to lodge appropriate complaints/appeals with the MCI to bring the errant doctors to justice. Unfortunately, most of the allegations against doctors never see the day of justice as these complaints/appeals languish at MCI. Ironically, the newly formed MCI seems to have waken up to take up the pending complaints/appeals against doctors. However, MCI’s recent action is even more shocking and it unravels an oblique motive on part of the top medical regulatory body to frustrate the victims and shield their errant medical colleagues. PBT has received copies of a letter sent this month by MCI to many victims whose appeals against negligent doctors were filed more than one year ago. Although Section 8.4 has stipulated that medical council must complete investigation of accused doctors within a maximum period of 6 months, the letter sent by MCI to the alleged victims itself proves that the medical council sat absolutely idle for more than one year before even looking into the appeal because the council has asked the victim to provide phone and WhatsApp numbers of the accused doctors “within 3 days” (see an example of the letter received from MCI below).
How a victim of medical negligence is supposed to get personal phone/WhatsApp number of doctors against whom he has already lodged a complaint of medical negligence? MCI should have full personal information of all registered doctors in India. MCI can also simply call the hospital involved and get the contact number of the accused doctors. Instead, they remain stone silent for more than one year in blatant violation of the law and then asked doctors’ phone numbers from the complainant/victim. There can be no argument that such candidly biased letter from MCI is likely to drain the victims of medical negligence endlessly frustrated and perhaps give up all hope to fight for medical justice. Will the health ministry and newly formed National Medical Commission wake up for the sake of the millions of hapless patients and victims of medical negligence in India?