What is the time frame in which an admitted patient must be seen by the consultant?


Dr KK Aggarwal and Ira Gupta    07 December 2017

This matter was discussed in an order DMC/DC/F14/532/2008 dated 27.03.2008. The Hospital submitted their protocol as 90 minutes in case of emergency and 6-8 hours in not urgent cases as the minimum duration under which it is required by a consultant to personally examine a patient admitted under him. However, the Council observed that this was not acceptable.

According to the Council, “In a relatively large set-up, it is reasonable to accept that at least one consultant should be ideally, physically available in the Hospital and if not, then at least, should examine the patient within a reasonable time subsequent to admission.”

The Delhi Medical Council has also observed that “as a policy/protocol, the Hospital should ensure that the consultant under whom a patient is admitted must personally examine the patient at the earliest within a reasonable time, as the same will not only afford an opportunity to the patient to be examined by a specialist but will also have a reassuring, calming influence on the patient.” The council also wrote to Directorate of Health Services to formulate guidelines, protocols in this regard for uniformly adherence by various hospitals. The council said that early examination by a consultant was required not only for the purpose of findings but also reassuring and calming the patient and relations.

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