In India, nearly 5,200,000 medical errors happen every year. An error is an error but invariably the sufferer is the patient who takes the course of treatment or follows the medical therapy or takes the prescribed medicines inadvertently to pay the price, occasionally with his life too. In the majority of cases, the errors are due to lack of doctor-patient communication, illegible prescriptions, treatment notes, or LASA look-alike sound-alike drugs.
However, as a matter of fact, only a small number of these errors lead to legal litigations for compensation in India in the District commission or the State commission.
In the year 2019, a total of 2638 cases came up at the District level and in the same year, a total of 435 cases were pursued by the appellants to the State Commission or the National Commission.
In a recent study by a state government in India, it was found that of the 112 cases of negligence that were filed in the year only 16 patients were the real victims of medical negligence. This accounts for a little over 14%. This is contrary to malpractice statistics in evolved economies like the USA where the cost of care is high and any negligence has long term debilitating effects on the patient and his family financially.
In the four big states in the USA, a total of 129,749 Physicians practice medicine of which 53,301 made malpractice payments to their victims for adverse action reports against them.
This is significant. It’s not for the awareness of the laws or the inherent character of the USA, to sue others, but the high cost of treatment with no favorable results that drive the litigation for compensation in addition to unbearable hardship that’s meted out to the victims or their families.
In India the medical ecosystem is sanguine. Indubitably, the doctors help patients with their expert skills and good quality care but when things go wrong they don't feel comfortable admitting it. Admitting an error runs against the grain of a doctor’s intellectual being in India.
And so the victims complain about doctors in India as they feel deserted in the time of need and cheated for money at the hospitals and nursing homes.
When they don’t get the complete medical answers they reach out to the lawyers to get the legal remedies for the medical negligence of the doctors and hospitals.
Sunil Kumar Kalra
901 4357 509
Whatsapp +7 916 227 5503
Sunil Kumar Kalra, BA, LLB (Delhi University) is a practicing Advocate in the
Supreme Court of India, New Delhi