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aaThe Indian Medical Association (IMA) Tuesday urged the Supreme Court to review its verdict on the disproportionate compensation imposed on doctors and hospitals for medical negligence.

Citing the apex court’s 2013 verdict wherein a Kolkata-based hospital was ordered to pay a compensation of Rs.11.41 crore for medical negligence, the IMA argued that such rulings would deter doctors from taking bold decisions in their patients’ interests.

“The IMA is not against punishment to the guilty but is of the view that the quantum of punishment is such that it might become restraining for others to join this profession,” IMA national president Jitendra Bhai Patel told the media.

“We will appreciate if the apex court accepts the review petition and reconsiders the decision”, he said.

He said the Supreme Court should review the verdict as there was a thin line of demarcation between medical accident and negligence as medical treatment does not have any fixed procedure.

“Treatment is entirely based on the patient’s condition, response to treatment which may vary from person to person besides knowledge and experience of the treating doctors,” he said.

IMA secretary general Narendra Saini said the apex court judgment was a blow to the entire medical fraternity and has restrained young doctors from joining the profession in spite of completing their medical courses.

“The judgment has come as a blow to medical professionals who are very new to the profession,” he said.

“India currently needs more than six lakh doctors but such kind of decisions will frighten students from joining the profession. It is acting as an obstacle in the progress of health care in the country as already we are seeing a drop in the number of students joining medical courses,” Saini told IANS.

According to the IMA, compensation should be based on parameters like earning of the hospital, earnings of doctors on whom the compensation is levied, severity of the patient’s disease and the chance of the patient’s survival without treatment.

“There are also chances that if the apex court does not review the petition, there may be a lot of forged cases where patients claim compensation more than the expenses incurred,” Saini said.

(Source: IANS)

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