The Maharashtra Medical Council (MMC),which had 900 odd complaints of medical negligence to clear,has managed to sort out a majority of them. Two hundred and fifty complaints still remain to be resolved. The complaints range from incorrect administration of intravenous fluids to a bariatric surgery gone wrong.
Two special ethics committees are held every month to look into the complaints. While one committee is chaired by Pune-based Sanjay Gupte,the other is headed by Dr Suhas Pingale from Mumbai.
The next two meetings will look into a case of death of a patient during a bariatric surgery. Another case that will be scrutinised is the death of the wife of an IAS officer. A cancer surgeon has been charged with medical negligence in the latter case.
Dr S Utture,executive committee member of the MMC,said the panel has been forced to drop many cases either because the complainant is no more available or the one against whom the complaint has been filed has expired.
Gupte,when contacted,said very few cases are followed by the complainants. In cases where the complainants back out,the MMC has no option but to drop the case,he admits. Several cases had to be dropped. However,we are in the process of issuing strict warnings. It is important that the patients faith in the system of justice does not suffer, Gupte said.
Gupte added that many complaints are against advertisements in which the doctors photograph was used to advocate the therapy of an ailment.
The MMC,a quasi judicial authority,plays a key role in hearing cases of alleged medical negligence. While the ethics committees can only hear the grievances of both the parties,the executive committee takes the final call on the issue.
Steps like cancelling licences of doctors for misconduct have been taken by the MMC,Utture said. In cases where doctors flouted the Pre-Conception and Pre Natal Determination of Techniques (PC-PNDT) Act,more than 60 licences were put under suspension.