A DELEGATION of Indian Medical Association (IMA) met Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee in Kolkata on Monday to apprise her of the changes they want in the West Bengal Clinical Establishments (Registration, Regulation and Transparency) Act, 2017.
“We had a discussion with the chief minister regarding how doctors can be made accountable to both the West Bengal Medical Council and the West Bengal Health Regulatory Commission. She promised us that the regulatory commission will send all cases related to doctors to the state medical council,” IMA national president K K Agarwal told The Indian Express. Agarwal was part of the six-member team who met the chief minister.
Mamata also promised that a directive will be issued to all the medical establishments to set up a public redressal mechanism that will deal with various complaints and then refer them to the commission, Agarwal said.
On criminal actions against doctors accused of medical negligence, Mamata said that all the complaints sent to the commission will be first handled by the state medical council, said an IMA official.
During the meeting, the chief minister reportedly told IMA members that the state government is against corrupt hospitals and doctors who are extorting money but not against the medical fraternity.
“We are happy that a dialogue has been initiated. Some of the points were noted by her for implementation. All points raised are submitted for approval. We will be discussing all the points on June 6. Legal views will also be sought,” the IMA president told The Indian Express.
The chief minister also expressed concern over doctors with “fake” degrees working in the state. She said that the state government is very serious about it and actions are being taken, as per IMA sources.
IMA will make a list of amendments they want in the Act and forward it to the CMO’s office, sources said. The association wants a single-window accountability for doctors to minimise harassment and for equal treatment of doctors in government and private healthcare institutes.
IMA has been opposed to the Act and the regulatory commission formed under it. IMA members allege that some clauses under the Act are unconstitutional.
Earlier, IMA branches in the state had moved the Supreme Court challenging the Act. The Act says that anyone causing death or injury to a patient through negligence will be liable for punishment under the IPC.