“Prevention is better than cure”. Prevention can be done in three levels.
The concept of informed consent has come to the fore in recent years and many actions have been brought by patients who alleged that they did not understand the nature of the medical procedure to which they have given consent. All information must be explained in comprehensible non-medical terms, preferable in local languages about the
The physicians duty to disclosure is subject to the exceptions;
An off-shoot of protection against CPA is defensive medicine. Medical professionals of late, started practicing defensive medicine in order to protect themselves against overzealous patients complaints. It is not easy to practice defensive medicine. The patient can also sue a doctor for over prescribing or unnecessary hospitalization. In U.S.A. there is a system in which there are periodic checks to see if doctors are unnecessarily subjecting patients to a wide range of tests or keeping them in hospitals on flimsy minor grounds. In a country like India wherein the patients are by and large form lower socio-economic strata it becomes very difficult for treating physicians to go in for defensive medicine as it costs heavily the patient who can ill afford such a treatment approach.
Some cases of negligence or deficiency of services will come up to the Court or Forum even after adequate precautions are taken.
- Office bearer of MCI
- Prominent public figure
This will stop unnecessary litigations and provide true justice.
- Quality art of care
- Technical art.
The following innovative methods are being practiced in the Western world to counter the adverse outcome of the CPA, in India also these practices may be emulated.
It covers in respect of errors and omission on the part of professional rendering their services. The Insurer should send a proposal from and renew it for subsequent period. The policy will damnify any act committed by the insured who shall be a registered medical practitioner, giving rise to any legal liability to third parties. The limit of indemnity granted under the policy is for any one policy is Rs. 1000/- compulsory excess or voluntary excess applicable.
R.D. Lele, 1992 opines that the doctors should be careful in not disclosing the medical indemnity insurance coverage for the simple reason that, the patient may exploit it for litigation purposes.
In order to prevent harassment from overzealous patients, in some of the advanced countries the medical professionals have started the concept of counter suits. In this the doctors initiate counter suits against patients for being sued without valued grounds. In a survey in U.S.A. counter suing of patients by doctors brought down the incidence of malpractice suits by almost 75percent. This has encouraged many doctors to resort to a similar strategy and their lawyers who sue doctors without any rhyme or reason (R.D. Lele, 1992)
N.Satyanarayana, G. Vijaya Kumar