Tuesday, 19 July 2022

Medical negligence cases in consumer court

 Medical negligence cases in consumer courts

All medical services are governed by the Consumer Protection Act of 1986. Following the Supreme Court's decision in Indian Medical Association vs. V.P. Shantha, the medical profession and services are now covered by the Act.

In this case, the court debated whether a medical practitioner may be considered to be giving services under Section 2(1)(o) of the Consumer Protection Act, 1986.

The following points have been established:

  • Medical services should be considered as "services" under the Consumer Protection Act of 1986, Section 2(1) (o). There is no master-servant connection between them, hence it is not a personal service contract.

  • The term "contract of service" as defined in Section 2(1)(o) cannot be limited to solely contracts for the employment of domestic staff. The Act does not apply to services provided to the employer.

  • Medical services that are provided free of charge are not covered by Section 2(1)(o) of the Act.

  • Section 2(1)(o) of the Act applies to medical services provided by independent doctors that are provided free of charge.

  • Medical services that are provided for a fee are likewise covered under the Act.

  • The payment of a medical service's consideration is made by a third party and is subject to this Act's provisions.

  • Hospitals that exclude some patients from paying because of their inability to pay or other financial issues will be viewed as consumers.

The term "deficiency of service" is defined in Section 2(1)(o) of the Consumer Protection Act as "any fault, imperfection, or other defect in the quality or manner of performance that is required to be maintained by or under any law, or that has been undertaken to be performed by a person in pursuance of a contract or otherwise."

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