Definitions - CPA Related to Medical Profession

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Consumer Protection Act 1986 & Its Medical Profession related Provisions After The Judgment Honorable Supreme Court of India dated 13-11-95


Complainant means
Any allegation, in writing made by a complaint that the service hired or availed of or agreed to be hired or availed of by him suffer from deficiency in any respect.

Consumer means
Any "person" who hires or ails of nay services for a consideration which has been paid or promised or partly paid and partly promised any include any beneficiary of such services for consideration paid or promised, or partly paid and partly promised, or under any system of deferred payment, when such services are availed of with the approval of the first mentioned person.

Consideration means fees/payment. Fees may have been fully paid in cash or cheques, or undertaking that it will be paid, which is accepted by the doctor/hospital. The fees may have been given partly (as advance) with the understanding that the remaining bill will be paid subsequently. The payment may be done by the patient himself, or by someone else for the patient, e.g. father for his child, husband for wife, any person for someone.

A person who receives medical treatment in Government or Charitable Hospital, which provides treatment to one and all free of cost is not a consumer under the Act. A person who receives treatment in a Government or charitable hospital which provides treatment free of cost to some and on consideration to some would be a consumer, even if he has not paid any fees.

In case of death of patient who is a consumer, legal heirs (representatives), of the decreased will be considered as "consumer". If the payment has been made by any person who is not a legal heir of the deceased he too will considered as 'consumer'.

The three words used above (deficiency, person, service) explained under this act are as follows:

Deficiency means
Any fault, imperfection, short coming or inadequacy in the quality, nature and manner of performance which is required to be maintained by or under any law for the time being in force or has been undertaken to be performed by a person in pursuance of a contract or otherwise in relation to nay service.

Person include
1. a firm whether registered or not;
2. a Hindu undivided family;
3. a co-operative society;
4. every other association of persons whether registered under the Societies Registration Act, 1860, or not.

Service means
Service of any description which is made available to potential users and includes the provision of facilities in connection with banking, financing, insurance, transport, processing, supply of electrical or other energy, board or lodging or both, housing construction, entertainment, amusement or the purveying of news or other information but does not include the rendering of nay service free of charge or under a contract of personal services.

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