Medicos Legal Action Group (MLAG) has petitioned the Prime Minister of India to introduce a Medical Injury Compensation Bill.
Dr Neeraj Nagpal, Managing Trustee of the Group said, doctors are the only professionals who have been unjustly and excessively targeted under the Consumer Protection Act. He said, an act meant to recompense consumers for unfair practices of traders was imposed on the medical fraternity by the honourable Supreme Court in 1995.
Today doctors are the only group which can be penalised in crores even if treatment has been provided free of cost. This has caused lot of anguish and feeling of alienation among the medical community and has also led to practice of defensive medicine and consequent increase in cost of treatment.
Besides this, the principle of rich being compensated more than the poor for same act of negligence is against laws of natural justice. Dr Nagpal said that doctors are today being forced to differentiate between patients based on their economic status which is against fundamental rights of every citizen.
He said that this Bill if brought would do away with the current situation where one doctor has to defend himself for same incident before 4-5 different agencies/commissions/courts and boards. Dr Nagpal said there is no malicious intent in minds of doctors when they try to treat patients but today the situation is such that if they fail it is assumed that doctor was negligent in treatment.
He said the younger generation is no longer opting for medical profession and doctors are leaving the country as well as the profession because of over regulation and judicial activism. He said the Medical Injury Compensation Bill if brought could redress the situation to a reasonable extent.