Medical Negligence – Specialist

Extracts from a decision dated 7 May 2013, in the case of Goyal Hospital & Research Centre Pvt. Ltd., Jodhpur & ors, V/s. Kishan Shukla (R.P. No.4023/2011), in which the National Consumer Commission held a doctor liable for Medical Negligence and  held that a doctor must have valid and recognized specialised qualification.  It held that a Doctor should be qualified in the field he professes to practice:

As per Indian Medical Council (Professional Conduct, Etiquette and Ethics) Regulations 2002 dated 11th March, 2001, the duties and responsibilities of the physician have been notified.

Clause-B Sub-clause 1.1.3 states as under:

“ No person other than a doctor having qualification recognized by Medical Council of India and registered with Medical Council Of India/State Medical Council(s) is allowed to practice Modern System of Medicine or Surgery.”

Similarly, Clause B-1.2.1 states as under:

“ the physician should practice methods healing founded on scientific basis and should not associate professionally with anyone who violates this principle.” 

 Even otherwise, undergoing several trainings, attending workshops in Cardiology did not confer qualification of cardiologist. Hence it is not recognized by MCI or Rajasthan State Medical Council.

“I may now refer the Law on the points relevant to this case, as laid down by Hon’ble Apex court as what constitutes Medical Negligence?  The judgment of Hon’ble Supreme Court in Malay Kumar Ganguly Vs Dr. Sukumar Mukharjee & ors, (2009) SSC 221,III (2009) CPJ 17(SC); wherein it has been observed as follows:

“Even the matter of determining deficiency in medical service, it is now well settled that if representation is made by a doctor that he is a specialist and ultimately turns out that he is not, deficiency in medical services would be presumed.”

Further the Hon’ble Supreme Court in Jacob Mathew V State of Punjab & Anr, (2005) 6 SSC 1= III (2005) CPJ 9 (SC) had concluded that,

“  a professional may be held liable on one of two findings : either he was not possessed of requisite skill which he professed to have possessed, or, he did not exercise reasonable competence in given case, the skill which he did possess.”

The full decision is available at the following site:

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