In 23 years, Maharashtra Medical Council solves only 47% of 1,245 medical negligence cases
The Maharashtra Medical Council has the authority to grant licence to allopaths wanting to practise in Maharashtramumbai Updated: Jan 17, 2018 10:38 IST
More than half of the complaints of medical negligence registered by patients with the Maharashtra Medical Council (MMC) since 1995 are yet to be resolved, revealed the data available with the council. Of the 1,245 cases registered with the MMC, 666 (about 53%) are pending.
The MMC, a quasi-judicial body, is the state branch of the Medical Council of India (MCI). It has the authority to grant licence to allopaths wanting to practice in Maharashtra. It also holds the power to suspend the licence, if a doctor is found guilty of a malpractice.
Dr Shivkumar Utture, president, MMC, said to clear the ‘huge’ backlog of cases, a four- member ethical committee has been convening every week since November 2017 to address grievances.
“Although the MMC Act requires the ethical committee to meet once every two months, the committee has been meeting once every week, since November 2017, to expedite cases and refer them to the executive committee, which then takes the final call,” he said.
The ten-member executive committee appointed by the MMC then decides if the doctor’s licence should be suspended or not.
Utture said the long wait time to resolve the cases is affecting both — the aggrieved and the doctor accused of negligence.
“If the cases take long to resolve, the patients don’t get a sense of justice. Secondly, the doctor who has been accused cannot avail no objection certificates if he or she wishes to travel abroad to attend fellowships or courses,” Utture added.
In nearly 95% of the pending cases, patients or the families have blamed the doctor for giving inaccurate treatment. In the last three years, the MMC has not been fully functioning owing to the delays by the government to conduct elections and electing its nominated members .
“This added to the number of cases,” said Dr Suhas Pigle, a former MMC member. “All the government elected nominees showed no interest in ensuring that the council functions properly. They have delayed the elections for months, primary reason for the backlog.”
First Published: Jan 17, 2018 09:09 IST