Relevance of MCI Inquiry Report in Medical Negligence Cases

Remedies in case of Medical Negligence

In cases of medical negligence, any aggrieved person can avail multiple remedies -

  1. compensation by way of a consumer complaint or by way of a civil suit, and
  2. disciplinary action against the medical professional by way of filing complaint with the State Medical Council and appeal to Ethics and Medical Registration Board of the National Medical Commission, and
  3. three, criminal action against the medical professional by filing police or private complaint for medical negligence. However, the negligence has to be of grave nature and simple lack of care, error of judgment, an accident, or failure to use special or extraordinary precautions is not a proof of negligence. Also, private complaints are usually not entertained unless the complainant produces a credible opinion given by another competent doctor to support the charge of negligence against the accused medical professional.

Enquiry by Medical Council

A complaint can be filed before state medical council or the Ethics and Medical Registration Board (in case the state medical council has not been established in any state). The state medical council thereafter would hold an enquiry and give an opportunity of hearing to the medical professional. The medical professional can appear in person or through a pleader/counsel. The decision on the complaint as to be taken within a time limit of six (6) months. If the medical professional is found to be guilty of committing professional misconduct, the appropriate state medical council can award punishment.

The decision of state medical council can be challenged before the Ethics and Medical Registration Board of the National Medical Commission. The second appeal against the order of Ethics Board lies before the National Medical Commission.

Relevance of the Enquiry Report of Medical Council

The opinion and findings of the medical council in its enquiry report have great relevance in medical negligence compensation claims as the report is prepared on the basis of opinion of various medical experts. The same has been observed by a three-judge bench of the Supreme Court in Harnek Singh vs Gurmit Singh, 2022 LiveLaw (SC) 511 wherein the court granted compensation of INR 25 lakhs to the victim after considering the findings of the medical council.

Concluding Note

It is important to take appropriate legal remedies in cases of medical negligence. It is equally important to identify a case of medical negligence before proceeding ahead with legal remedies.

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