Doctors and medical establishments must be dealt with strictly for their negligence in giving treatment to patients, the Supreme Court on Thursday held and asked the government to enact laws for effective functioning of the private hospitals and nursing homes.
“The doctors, hospitals, the nursing homes and other connected establishments are to be dealt with strictly if they are found to be negligent with the patients who come to them pawning all their money with the hope to live a better life with dignity,” a bench of justices CK Prasad and V Gopala Gowda said.
The bench directed Kolkata-based AMRI Hospital and three doctors to pay over Rs 11 crore which includes interest to a US-based Indian-origin doctor who lost his 29-year-old wife during their visit to India 14 years ago.
The bench said that its decision would act as deterrent to people associated with practice of medicine and do not take their responsibility seriously.
“The patients irrespective of their social, cultural and economic background are entitled to be treated with dignity which not only forms their fundamental right but also their human right. We, therefore, hope and trust that this decision acts as a deterrent and a reminder to those doctors, hospitals, nursing homes and other connected establishments who do not take their responsibility seriously,” the bench said.
“The central and the state governments may consider enacting laws wherever there is absence of one for effective functioning of the private hospitals and nursing homes. Since the conduct of doctors is already regulated by the Medical Council of India, we hope and trust for impartial and strict scrutiny from the body,” it said.
The bench said that the institutions and individuals providing medical services to the public at large must educate and update themselves about any new medical discipline and rare diseases so as to avoid tragedies.