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Around 150 cases of medical negligence being added every year and around 700 such cases pending since it got revived almost a year back, the Maharashtra Medical Council (MMC) in its bid to expedite disposal of such cases has set up four ethical committees and plans to meet every week to hear such cases.
The Indian Medical Council Act, 1956 stipulates an executive committee appointed by the MMC to meet once in two months to hear medical negligence cases and take subsequent action timely.
According to official sources, there were a total of 1,700 such cases of medical negligence out of which around 1000 cases have been successfully disposed of.
Says president MMC Dr Shivkumar Utture, “The spur in cases annually which were filed over the last 12 years when MMC was functioning inconsistently and which eventually led to lack of proper hearing is now resolved as now patients have a forum to rely on with its revival recently.”
Cases of medical negligence earlier were settled under the premise that effective communication between doctor and patient was lacking wherein the patient was brought at the point of care beyond the time when the diseased condition proved fatal.
A quasi-judicial body of 85,000 doctors in the state, MMC got revived after a series of upheavels first due to delay in notifications for elections and then intermittent delay of nearly 7 months in the appointment of members to the elected body finally by the state government in August 3, 2017.
The state government delayed in notifying 9 members to the 18 member MMC after the election results on December 24, 2016. A PIL was also then filed by Indian Medical Association (IMA) and MMC members in the Bombay High Court (HC) to restore MMC back through a democratic process.
Bombay HC had also suspended the body between 1998 and 2010 due to irregularities in the election of members and maintenance of council register. However, there were no cases registered for the past four to five years when it was defunct from 1998 to 2010.Elections to the MMC were held on December 18, 2016 across 36 districts of the state at various medical colleges.