Nowadays, the basic knowledge of how the judicial forums deal with medical negligence cases is necessary for doctors due to the increase in frivolous and unjust matters. The knowledge of how the compensation is calculated and adjudicated in the judicial courts of India will assist doctors to get indemnity insurance associated with it, without any worry about the high-cost litigation involved with medical negligence cases.
The Indian Judiciary put some light on the premium of the value of human life and their suffering. They aim to maintain a careful balance between the autonomy of the doctor and the rights of the patient to be dealt with fairly. The balance is maintained to give proper treatment to patients and to identify the delinquency in cases if any.
The compensation shall be awarded after taking into consideration the following pointers which may affect the doctors and their profession:
- The paying capability or the earning capacity of a medical practitioner.
- Immeasurable delays in court may affect the reputation of the medical practitioner.
The hospital as an organization is not run by the doctors but by the administrators. Hospital administrators are primarily concerned about the revenue that generates by imposing targets on the doctors. In such cases, if medical negligence arises, then who will be liable for the compensation. Many times, it is seen that both the hospital and doctors are held responsible for paying compensation. Whereas in some cases, the court reduced the amount of compensation payable by the individual doctors as compared to the hospitals.
The purview of the Indian legal system is that the treatment provided by a doctor can be inexact and vary with the rapid advancement and substantial responsibility as the service provider. Therefore, the calculation of compensation is not precise or accurate. There is an immediate need to introduce broad guidelines and assessment parameters to support the health system. The compensation awarded requirements to be just, prudent and reasonable. The deficiencies, such as substantial cost of litigation, delayed litigation, as well as dependence on judicial restraint, will not provide effective justice to victims and also harm the doctors and hospitals.
In the case of a frivolous matter, the doctor should be compensated for the loss of his time, money and reputation. The Indian government needs to act and invest the guidelines in health care before it is too late.