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Competence yardstick for practice in government & private hospitals: Is there a legal basis?- Dr. MC Gupta answers

M3 India Newsdesk Nov 19, 2020

Dr. MC Gupta clarifies medicolegal aspects regarding the scope of specialty practice for MD Medicine and MS Surgery doctors in government and private hospitals.

Question—Is there a legal basis for using differential yardsticks regarding competence of doctors to practice a specialty in the government and private sector?

For example, MD (Medicine) doctors in a government hospital treat cardiology patients and do echocardiography etc. without any impediment but this is deemed as illegal in the private sector. Similarly, An MS (Surgery) in a government hospital gives anesthesia and operates, but this becomes a crime in the private sector.

Dr. MC Gupta answers...

1—There is a tendency on the part of the government to exempt government health facilities and government doctors from the strict rules they seek to apply on the private sector. This is unfortunate. There is no reason why a doctor who has been treating a particular type of patient in a government hospital should be held as incompetent to do so when he leaves government service. It is further unfortunate that a doctors’ association like the IMA has never bothered to act against the attitude of medical councils who punish doctors for practicing a specialty like cardiology without having the degree of DM (Cardiology). The lamentable fact is that the Ethics Committee which punishes a doctor includes representatives of the IMA.

2—The only way out of this situation is to challenge in a court of law the illegal decisions of the medical council.


Disclaimer- The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author's and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of M3 India.

Content from the writer has been directly replicated on the website. No edits have been made.

The writer, Dr. MC Gupta is a practising lawyer specialising in medical negligence cases. He also has an MD Medicine from AIIMS, Delhi where he also worked as a faculty member for 18 years, later working another 10 years as a Professor and Dean at National Institute of Health and Family Welfare, New Delhi, before pursuing law.

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