The illusion of immunity in Government Service

Doctor at Community Health Center sentenced to 2 years imprisonment for PPH Death

The court of Additional Sessions Judge Narnaul in a decision
dated 15/12/2017 dismissed the appeal against conviction by Doctor working at CHC Kaniana District Narnaul Haryana and upheld the decision of the Judicial Magistrate Ist Class sentencing the Doctor to 2 years imprisonment and 20000 fine.

In multiple lectures across the country I have stressed the need for doctors working in Government sector to not consider themselves immune from the legal problems facing medical profession today. Govt doctors do not take indemnity insurance, do not join organizations which fight for common causes of doctors and in generally feel secure in the fact that they are the ones who will decide negligence of a private practitioners while being on Medical Board in such cases. They pay little heed to the thought that they themselves are equally vulnerable and need to protect themselves too.

The second highest compensation (3,65,00,000 approx including interest in case of V Krishnakumar vs State of Tamil Nadu) ever awarded in a case of medical negligence is against a Government hospital in Tamil Nadu and its doctors where treatment was given free of cost. Multiple cases are ongoing in courts against resident doctors working in Government hospitals even years after they have completed their tenure and left for their native place.Multiple Government hospitals across the country have been penalized by consumer courts but still the illusion of immunity persists

Doctors working in civil hospitals , PHC, CHCs, district hospitals, medical colleges , PGIMER & AIIMS where some charges are paid by some patients remain within the purview of Consumer Protection Act. Criminal cases are frequently filed against Government doctors and this incident is one such example. Now that gross negligence is proven it will be easy for patient party to demand high compensation in civil courts either in Consumer Courts or under Article 226. It is going to be anybody's guess whether the doctor was insured.

Dr Neeraj Nagpal
Convenor,Medicos Legal Action Group, Managing Director MLAG Indemnity,
Ex President IMA Chandigarh
Director Hope Gastrointestinal Diagnostic Clinic,
1184, Sector 21 B Chandigarh
09316517176 , 9814013735
0172; 4633735, 2707935, 2706024, 5087794
For Contributions; "Medicos Legal Action Group" Ac No 499601010036479 IFSC code UBIN0549967 Union Bank Sector 35 C Chandigarh

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