Receivers of Free Treatment Are Not Consumers
Medical negligence not defined in consumer law
If people understood that doctors weren't divine ,perhaps the odor of malpr actice might diminish. ~ Richard Selzer
If statistics are to be believed, the healthcare industry is on an upswing, medical costs are burgeoning, hospitals are becoming richer by the day, and the outcome of this growth has seen unprecedented year-on-year increase in cases of medical negligence. As per a November 2016 study published by Supreme Court advocate Mahendra Kumar Bajpai, medical negligence cases in India have been seeing over 110 per cent rise every year – and 12 per cent of all the cases decided by consumer courts are on medical negligence. Between 60 and 66 per cent of the filed cases are because of hospitals taking improper consent from relatives before performing certain procedures or switching hospitals, or improper documentation throughout the course of diagnosis and treatment. A point to be noted here is that the cases of medical negligence being heard in consumer forums are those where the patients are considered as consumers and their complaints have been ‘accepted' by the forums. The figure would be much higher if the medical negligence cases where ‘patients had been treated for free' were also accepted by the forum.