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Friday, May 31, 2013

New group takes on medical negligence

From HYDERABAD: Increasing cases of medical negligence in the city has led to the creation of the Hyderabad chapter of People for Better Treatment (PBT), a pan-India civil society initiative which helps victims fight unethical medical practice. "Hyderabad has many hospitals and we have received several complaints of medical negligence from the city. It is time we had a Hyderabad chapter," said United States-based doctor Kunal Saha, founder director of PBT which was constituted in 2001 following the death of his wife in 1998 due to alleged medical negligence at a hospital in Kolkata. Unethical medical practices started rearing its head in the 1980s, Saha said. "All doctors take an oath to serve humanity. But the oath has lost significance in last three decades," he said. Several medical professionals also called for reforms in education. "Many medical colleges are functioning without adequate teachers. Teaching hospitals have around 250 students and the duration of the MBBS course has been shortened by a year. It is not possible for one teacher to focus on hundreds of students," said Prof M Naryan Reddy, retired head of forensics department, Osmania Medical College. He said according to Medical Council of India's (MCI) guidelines, the classroom strength should not exceed 150. P Raghuram, director of Ushalakshmi Breast Cancer Foundation, raised the issue of pharma majors offering kickbacks. "MCI has laid down effective guidelines to govern conduct of medical professionals but these need stringent implementation. The subject of medical ethics, which is not a part of the curriculum, should be included in the coursework," he said.

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