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British Medical Journal (BMJ) Wonders If Large Compensation For “Medical Negligence” Is Good For Indian Medicine: PBT President Argues In Favor While Dr. Devi Shetty Bats For Negligent Doctors and Hospitals With Erroneous Information

British Medical Journal (BMJ), a top international medical journal, published a highly provocative “head to head” debate article in the wake of the recent large compensation granted by Supreme Court of India in Anuradha Saha wrongful death case with an interesting question: “Are large compensation payouts for negligence good for medicine in India?” (see the article below).  PBT president, Dr. Kunal Saha, has provided logical arguments as to why under the present pitiful condition of the healthcare delivery system, direct intervention by the court of law through large compensation in medical negligence cases may be the only way to reduce incidence of malpractice and healthcare corruption in India.  On the other side, Dr. Devi Shetty, a cardiac surgeon and treasurer of Association of Healthcare Providers of India (APHI), criticized the large compensation awarded by the Apex Court in Anuradha death case as he has painted a doomsday scenario if a limit or “cap” on the amount of compensation is not set in medical negligence cases for the future.  In fact, Dr. Shetty has suggested that courts of law should not even judge negligence cases against doctors.  Instead, Dr. Shetty has proposed that Ministry of Health should convene a medical “Committee” to decide malpractice cases against doctors.

We would like to inform Dr. Shetty and his medical groups who are defending negligent doctors/hospitals that a similar “Committee” organized by central health ministry already exists in India for decades which is known as Medical Council of India (MCI).  Unfortunately, it is a common knowledge today that MCI is nothing but a “den of corruption” that only works to shield negligent doctors and that is looting crores of rupees through bribery from private medical colleges by sacrificing the standard of medical education in India.  But perhaps most surprisingly, in order to defend negligent medicos, Dr. Shetty has attempted to promote a grossly misleading and/or erroneous notion that a “cap” or limit on compensation also exists in “medical negligence” cases in USA.  As PBT president has explained in his article, there is no “cap” or limit on compensation for direct loss of income (“pecuniary damages”) for death of a patient anywhere in USA.  This was also presented by PBT president before the Hon’ble Supreme Court where he appeared “in person” to argue his wife’s (Anuradha Saha) death case and Apex Court has quoted these large compensations routinely awarded in USA in the historic judgment delivered last October.  We wonder whether Dr. Shetty and other IMA leaders are spreading these baseless rumors on “cap” in USA deliberately or are they simply ignorant about facts?

BMJ (Head to Head) Aug 27, 2014

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • S.K.Thakur August 28, 2014, 4:52 am

    Dear Sir,
    I read the article with great interest. I partly agree with Dr. Shetty also. My younger brother died in a 7 star hospital without getting any first aid. I am fighting at all the levels- lower court, high court, state medical council, MCI, NCRDC etc since last 4 yrs but without any result. Dr Saha, unlike you I may not be able to proceed and succeed like you for so many factors. Suppose I die today, the case ll pass off unnoticed. Innumerable cases of medical negligence go unnoticed in India. The rising incidence of medical negligence in the country is directly related with the falling standard of medical education in the country. I had great hope from Dr Shetty, when he got the chance to deliver some good to the country as a member of MCI, but was ultimately disappointed. It is beyond imagination of Dr Shetty, the mental trauma I am going through and I never wish anyone to go through this experience. I would like to tell Dr Shetty that as suggested by him, I am also not in favor of huge compensation but yes I would like the negligent doctors punished by way of deletion of their names from IMR either temporarily or permanently depending on the quantum of negligence.
    S K Thakur
    MS;PhD(General Surgery)

  • agrwl August 31, 2014, 1:32 pm

    People for betterment of
    Foreign Medical Graduates
    President: R K Agrawal,
    231, Lalbaug, Morbi-2
    Gujarat
    Dt.30.08.2014
    To,
    Health minister,
    Govt of India,
    New Delhi
    Sub:- Providing level playing field to foreign medical graduates.

    Ref:- 1. PBFMG letter dated 30.06.2014 titled “ Plight of foreign medical graduates & ways to improve supply of competent doctors while eliminating all types of incompetent doctors.
    2. PBFMG letter dated 30.06.2014 titled ‘ Plight of foreign medical graduates’
    3. PBFMG letter dated 10.07.2014 titled ‘ National exit exam for medical graduates.

    R sir,
    We on behalf of PBFMG hearty congratulate you & the committee formed by your good self for having come up with the brilliant proposal of exit exam which ensures uniform standards in medical education by making it mandatory for permanent registration & at the same time not affecting supply by innovative provision of temporary registration.

    We also congratulate you & the committee to incorporate mandatory provisions to appear & pass the test for permanent registration, thereby overturning the malafide intention of MCI, giving option to local graduates to by pass the exam, to avoid scrutiny of doctors produced by medical mafia controlled private colleges under MCI’s own corrupt system. Hope, its their last try to avoid scrutiny of doctors produced by these dubious colleges. Let the people know if their competency level before allowing them to play with their life.

    Scores of private medical colleges openly auction their seats in crores & pass them from their own private universities by taking crores again. Concerns regarding standards of education in such colleges are systematically overlooked by MCI, deciding their recognition & derecognition based on the weight of suitcase such colleges carry for likes of ketan desai in MCI.

    Foreign medical graduates, on the other hand, are the committed souls to this profession, having earned their admission in adverse terrains, without paying a single paisa by way of black money & donations to MCI or the medical mafia. Their admissions were till recently directly monitored by MCI by way of eligibility certificate. The process was much cleaner than the way private college mafia takes admission in their colleges by open auction of seats through daily advertisement in local newspapers.
    Still private college mafia in convenience with likes of ketan desai in MCI, having received no black money or donation from foreign students, has long been branding foreign graduates as incompetent by subjecting them to highly discriminatory level of screening test designed purposely to fail students to incite fear psychosis of not to go abroad & rather fall pray to private college seats, filled at huge donations. It is requested to direct MCI to desist itself from branding of foreign graduates as incompetent till relative level of competence is established by uniform application of exit exam to foreign graduates vis-a-viz medical mafia controlled private college graduates.

    MCI in its history since independence didn’t find a single doctor fit for major penalty. It was foreign experienced doctor, who lost her wife while travelling to india, who compelled MCI to take few such steps in recent time through various litigations in which MCI was seen taking side of negligent doctors but MCI was forced to swallow her words, & thereby tought some lessions in competency to MCI itself.

    It is therefore requested to give level playing field to foreign medical graduates by applying all the provisions of exit exam including the provisions of temporary registration uniformly in toto, in letter & in sprit to allow fair comparison of foreign medical graduates vis-a-vis medical mafia controlled private college graduates & let the country know the actual competency level of both.

    Uniform application of exit exam to all, even if he is a foreigner, is the established norm world over. USA ,Canada, austrailia, newzealand or even the least developed Nepal follow this principal. In our case, these foreign graduates are not even foreigners. They are the very sons of mother india.

    If at all india chooses to play in the hands of media mafia & likes of ketan desai in MCI once again & apply different yard stick for local & foreign graduates, which I am sure it will not, then india will have the dubious distinction of being the only country in the whole world, doing so.

    This will send wrong signals the world over that medical mafia & likes of ketan desai in MCI still prevails in the country irrespective of political party in power.

    I sincerely hope BJP will not let it happen.

    Thanking you,

    yours faithfully,

    (Rk agrawal)

    Copy to Respected Prime Minister of PMO India

    Copy to medical council of india

  • agrwl September 6, 2014, 9:54 am

    MEDICO LEGAL ACTION GROUP HAS BLOCKED ME. I ONLY CRITICIZED THE CRORES OF DONATION PRIVATE COLLEGES CONTROLLED BY MEDICAL MAFIA TAKES IN RETURN OF MEDICAL SEATS. THUS PRODUCING MONEY HUNGRY DOCTORS. WE NEED TO CURB THE SAME. WE NEED TO KNOW IF THESE DOCTORS PRODUCED BY MEDICAL MAFIA HAVE BASIC MINIMUM SKILLS OR NOT BEFORE ALLOWING THEM TO PLAY WITH OUR LIFE. IT SHOWS IT WORKS IN CLOSE ASSOCIATION OF MEDICAL MAFIA. THE CURRENT PRESIDENT IS EX PRESIDENT OF IMA. IT SEEMS THESE MEDICAL ENTITIES R EXCLUSIVE CLUB OF DOCTORS. THEY DONT CARE FOR VOICE OF GENERAL PUBLIC AS IF PUBLIC IS NOT PART OF HEALTH HAVING NO SAY. AS IF HEALTHCARE ONLY AFFECTS DOCTORS NOT PUBLIC. I CONDEMN THIS BEHAVIOR OF MLAG