About Careers Internship MedBlogs Contact us
Medindia LOGIN REGISTER
Consumer Protection Bill 2018: What Does It Mean for Doctors?
Advertisement

Consumer Protection Bill 2018: What Does It Mean for Doctors?

Font : A-A+

Highlights:
  • The Lok Sabha has passed the Consumer Protection Bill, 2018 on 20th December, 2018, which replaces the Consumer Protection Act, 1986
  • Central Consumer Protection Authority (CCPA) will be set-up to promote, protect and enforce consumer rights
  • The enhanced pecuniary jurisdiction of the Consumer Protection Councils (CPCs) will impact practicing doctors and patients due to increased healthcare expenses

The Consumer Protection Bill, 2018 was tabled in January 2018 in the last winter session of Parliament. The Bill was passed on 20th December, 2018. This will replace the three-decade-old Consumer Protection Act, 1986, which in spite of being amended thrice, still suffers from deficiencies in many aspects. Importantly, this Bill may affect practicing doctors.

Key Aspects of the Bill

Some of the major aspects of the Bill that may have an impact on practicing doctors are briefly highlighted below:

Advertisement


Ambit of the Law
  • All services and all modes of transactions fall within the purview of the Bill
Unfair Practices
  • Failure to issue a receipt (if asked by the patient) for fees received by the doctor
Product Liability
  • The liability falls on the doctor providing the services to his/her patients
Consumer Protection Councils (CPCs)
  • CPCs will be established at the District, State and National levels
  • The CPC advisory bodies will promote and protect consumer rights, including that of patients
Regulator
  • The Central Consumer Protection Authority (CCPA) will prevent unfair practices
Pecuniary Jurisdiction of Commissions
  • District: Up to Rs. 1 crore (Rs. 10 million or USD 142,908)
  • State: Between Rs. 1 crore and up to Rs. 10 crore (Rs. 100 million or USD 1,429,082)
  • National: Above Rs. 10 crore (Rs. 100 million or USD 1,429,082)
Alternate Dispute Redressal Mechanism
  • Mediation cells will be attached to the District, State and National Commissions
Penalties
  • If a person does not conform with the orders of the Commissions, he/she may face imprisonment up to 3 years, or a fine not less than - Rs. 25,000 (USD 357) extendable to - Rs. 100,000 (USD 1,429) or both

What Does the Government Say?

With reference to the Bill, the Corporate Affairs Ministry, Government of India, has stated that the objective of the Bill is "to provide for the protection of the interests of the consumers and for the said purpose, to establish authorities for timely and effective administration and settlement of consumers' disputes".

How Could the Bill Affect Practicing Doctors?

Of all the key aspects of the Bill, the pecuniary (money related) jurisdiction of the CPCs at the District, State and National levels could have the biggest impact on practicing doctors. Since the CPCs at the District level will be the most accessible to the patients, the highest number of claims will likely be filed at this level.

Since medical malpractice claims are becoming rampant in recent times, the doctors will need to increase their professional indemnity insurance to at least Rs. 1 crore. Due to this steep increase in the insurance amount, there will be a rise in doctor's fees and associated treatment costs, which will lead to higher out-of-pocket expenditures for the patients.
Advertisement

How will it affect the Patients? The out-of-pocket expenses for patients already account for an overwhelming 70 percent of the healthcare expenses in India. This staggering amount of out-of-pocket expenditure pushes 7 percent of the Indian population below the poverty line every year. If the healthcare expenses increase even further, it could be disastrous for the patients. This would mean that the goal of providing affordable and quality healthcare for patients may not be accomplished, at least in the near future.

This Bill will make the medical doctors to start practicing 'defensive medicine' as is being done in western economies like the US where the physicians are at highest risk of being sued, and overtreatment is common. The number of lawsuits against physicians in the USA has been on the rise over the last decade and has had a substantial impact on the behavior of physicians and medical practice. Defensive medicine leads to recommending diagnostic tests or medical treatment that is not necessarily the best option for the patient, but an option that will mainly serve the function to protect the physician against the patient as potential plaintiff. Doctors in India will immediately need to start finding ways to improve the consent forms for procedures and have better documentation of their notes. As the malpractice insurance premiums go up, the overall cost of healthcare in India will increase dramatically over the next five years and the patients will end up bearing the brunt of these increases in the costs.

Reference :
  1. The Consumer Protection Bill, 2018 - (https:drive.google.com/file/d/1QulEsTXTB1fCeguS5sFzW8wUuD_o9h52/view)


Source: Medindia

Citations   close

Please use one of the following formats to cite this article in your essay, paper or report:

  • APA

    Dr. Kaushik Bharati. (2018, December 31). Consumer Protection Bill 2018: What Does It Mean for Doctors?. Medindia. Retrieved on Jul 01, 2022 from https://www.medindia.net/news/healthinfocus/consumer-protection-bill-2018-what-does-it-mean-for-doctors-184816-1.htm.

  • MLA

    Dr. Kaushik Bharati. "Consumer Protection Bill 2018: What Does It Mean for Doctors?". Medindia. Jul 01, 2022. <https://www.medindia.net/news/healthinfocus/consumer-protection-bill-2018-what-does-it-mean-for-doctors-184816-1.htm>.

  • Chicago

    Dr. Kaushik Bharati. "Consumer Protection Bill 2018: What Does It Mean for Doctors?". Medindia. https://www.medindia.net/news/healthinfocus/consumer-protection-bill-2018-what-does-it-mean-for-doctors-184816-1.htm. (accessed Jul 01, 2022).

  • Harvard

    Dr. Kaushik Bharati. 2021. Consumer Protection Bill 2018: What Does It Mean for Doctors?. Medindia, viewed Jul 01, 2022, https://www.medindia.net/news/healthinfocus/consumer-protection-bill-2018-what-does-it-mean-for-doctors-184816-1.htm.

Advertisement

Advertisement
News A-Z
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
What's New on Medindia
Are Menopause Symptoms Troubling You?: Try these Options
Vaccination  And Counter  Measures Against  Monkeypox
Indian Railways Special Concession on Health Grounds
View all
News Archive
Date
Category
Advertisement
News Category

Medindia Newsletters Subscribe to our Free Newsletters!
Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.

Most Popular on Medindia

Drug - Food Interactions Drug Interaction Checker Vent Forte (Theophylline) Selfie Addiction Calculator Nutam (400mg) (Piracetam) Blood Donation - Recipients Color Blindness Calculator Noscaphene (Noscapine) Sinopril (2mg) (Lacidipine) How to Reduce School Bag Weight - Simple Tips

Disclaimer - All information and content on this site are for information and educational purposes only. The information should not be used for either diagnosis or treatment or both for any health related problem or disease. Always seek the advice of a qualified physician for medical diagnosis and treatment. Full Disclaimer

© All Rights Reserved 1997 - 2022

This site uses cookies to deliver our services. By using our site, you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Cookie Policy, Privacy Policy, and our Terms of Use