What is the procedure for filing complaint against Medical Negligence?

Dated: 2020-09-17 18:10:59

What is the procedure for filing complaint against Medical Negligence?

Answers by Lawyers

What is Medical Negligence?

“Negligence” can be described as the failure by a person(mostly a doctor) to exercise a duty of care towards another person. In general, negligence has three ingredients:

  1. A person owes a duty of care to another person.
  2. He has breached that duty.
  3. Another person has suffered some form of injury due to this breach of duty.

 

Steps to be followed for filing Medical Negligence case 

I. An initial step by a victim of medical negligence is to file a Complaint against the doctor with the State Medical Council. The victim has a choice between filing a complaint in the State Consumer court or filing a criminal suit against the hospital or the doctor himself.

 

  • In the event, if the primary motive of the patient is to seek a monetary compensation, then he/she should file a complaint in the Consumer Court, so that the case can be disposed off at the earliest. In any case, victim ought to likewise remember that, if the complaint is against the hospital, he/she can appeal at the national level which means the case might get stuck for few years.

 

II. Another step which can be considered under medical negligence case is going to a Patient-Advocate. A Patient-Advocate conveys a medical duty which was  owed to the patient itself.

  • If there is any breach done against the patients, a Patient-Advocate has the obligation to convey to the patients regarding the necessary steps that ought to be taken to resolve the issue.
  • The Patient-Advocate will likewise assist the patient with knowing whether he should feel that there ought to be compensation provided due to the particular medical negligence.

 

III. On the other side, a victim can file for medical negligence from the perspective of a consumer and can go under the Consumer Protection Act, 1986, which is more likely to yield results as opposed to going under the IPC and criminal case way.

  • A complaint can be filed in the District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum if the value of services and compensation claimed is less than 20 lakh rupees, or before the State Commission, if the value does not exceed more than 1 crore rupees. If, however, the value of the goods or services and the compensation exceeds more than 1 crore rupees, the National Commission is to be approached.

 

Step-wise Procedure for filing complaint with the Council

  • Firstly, a victim should file a complaint with local police and State Medical Council.
  • The police can forward the report to the State Medical Council also, if the complaint is only filed with the police.
  • If the victim is dissatisfied with the decision of the council, he or she can appeal to the Medical Council of India.
  • The complainant (if seeking for monetary compensation) can seek the help from consumer courts, as stated above (it should be kept in mind that the consumer courts can only give remedy as compensation and it does not have the right to punish the doctor or the hospital).
  • After this, if the complainant is unhappy or not satisfied with the decision of the consumer court, he can again appeal to the National Consumer Dispute Redressal Forum. The victim can also go to the Supreme Court further.
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