Medical board seeks specialists to probe negligence

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Medical board seeks specialists to probe negligenceGURUGRAM: The district medical board has urged the state health department to provide specialist doctors to conduct probe in medical negligence cases.

The number of complaints against hospitals in Gurugram has reached 60 in just four months. And with complaints piling up, the board will now conduct inquiry meetings five times a week.

Officials said the board wrote a letter to the state health secretary, seeking specialists from Pandit Bhagwat Dayal Sharma Post Graduate Institute of Medical Sciences (PGIMS) in Rohtak on its panel, citing 51 pending complaints in the district.

A majority of these complaints are against leading private hospitals in Gurugram, officials said.

The district medical board for negligence comprises the district civil surgeon as chairperson, principal medical officer or medical superintendent of district hospital as member-secretary, a district-level member of Indian Medical Association (IMA), and two specialist doctors.

Considering the shortage of specialist doctors in Gurugram, such people are called in from other districts or even from private hospitals in some cases.

In fact, two specialists from a private hospital were once part of an inquiry committee recently. Simultaneously, the board was also conducting a hearing against the same hospital.

Therefore, the board has demanded specialists from Rohtak, especially cardiologists, oncologists and pulmonologists, considering the majority of the medical negligence complaints require their input, officials said.

“There has been a sudden rise in medical negligence cases. We do not have the required specialists to handle those cases, which is affecting the quality of investigations. We also need to dedicate more time to it. So, the board will now meet on all working days,” Dr BK Rajora, chief medical officer, Gurugram, told TOI.

Till last week, the board had been meeting twice a week which proved insufficient with the increasing number of complaints and rise in pendancy of cases.

The board is supposed to complete the inquiry and submit its report within 60 days. However, in many cases, the inquiry is delayed due to backlog, either the party missing the hearing or delaying the submission of proof.

A senior health official said the trend to file medical negligence complaints picked after Fortis hospital’s overbilling in Adya Singh dengue case. The change in the awareness about the option has spur the victims to seek help from authorities.

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