More than one grave complaint a day against Delhi hospitals
Delhi Medical Council scrutinizes private hospitals amid serious complaints. Top 13 hospitals in the city are allegedly under scanner.
DELHI Medical Council (DMC), which keeps a close watch on the functioning of the hospitals in the city, receives at least 30 cases of serious complaints every month. These numbers paint a grim picture, more so in the backdrop of the recent incidents of alleged medical negligence at Max Healthcare (Shalimar Bagh) and Fortis Hospital (Gurugram).
"We receive 25-30 complaints per month and at least 200-300 complaints per year," Dr Arun Gupta, president, DMC, told MAIL TODAY. The complaints that DMC receives are related to medical negligence, inflated bills, quacks practising medicine or running their clinics. Dr Gupta added that DMC receives the highest number of complaints among all state medical councils.
"We have around 60,000 doctors registered with DMC. All doctors practising modern medical science, that is allopathy, have to be registered with the DMC. Both private and government doctors have to renew their registration every five years."
According to a DMC official, the top hospitals which are allegedly under the scanner of DMC include Max Healthcare, BLK Hospital, Apollo Hospital, Sir Ganga Ram Hospital, Metro Hospitals, Rockland Hospital, St Stephen Hospital , Balaji Hospital, Jaipur Golden Hospital, Hedgewar Hospital, Lady Hardinge Hospital, Maharaja Agrasen Hospital and Madan Mohan Malviya Hospital.
"We receive direct complaints from the patient and their family members. The police and Directorate General of Health Services also inform us," said Dr Gupta. Talking about the process of investigating the complaints, he explained, "Once we receive a complaint, it is sent to the concerned doctor and hospital. Based on their response and supporting documents, the case is examined by the executive committee of the DMC. If there is prima facie evidence, then we refer it to our disciplinary committee, which is a larger body that also includes three non-doctors. Then both parties are questioned, and later the report is placed before the whole council which finally approves the decision."
DMC has recently brought all state medical councils of the country under one roof, and have discussed various issues to make laws more practical. "Complaints against these top hospitals are under the consideration of DMC. Our executive committee examines each and every case very seriously," said Dr Girish Tyagi, registrar at DMC.
The recent death of twins at Max Healthcare in Shalimar Bagh and a baby girl at Fortis Hospital in Gurugram, as well as other issues of medical negligence and inflated bills, have exacerbated the situation and attracted public ire towards the healthcare industry in the Capital. In the case of Max Healthcare, the Delhi government took the strongest course of action and cancelled hospital's license.
Delhi's health minister Satyendar Jain told MAIL TODAY, "Delhi government has cancelled the license of Max Healthcare in Shalimar Bagh over medical negligence in the twins' case. The incident is a case of criminal medical negligence and is not acceptable at all." Jain said, "If, in the future, cases of medical laxity come up at any private hospitals, none of the hospitals would be spared. Stringent action will be taken against them."