A consumer court case filed by noted journalist Chitra Subramaniam against the Manipal Hospitals has turned the spotlight once again on the right of a patient to obtain authentic and accurate information about his or her diagnosis and treatment.

The case alleges gross medical negligence by willfully providing false and dangerously misleading information about a procedure she underwent where some implants were placed in her ankle to correct a fracture.
The journalist alleged that “Manipal Hospitals and Dr Murlidhar Rao – the orthopaedic surgeon who operated on her, had repeatedly provided wrong and misleading information, claiming it was given to them by the Indian arm of Synthes, the Switzerland-based subsidiary of the global conglomerate Johnson and Johnson.”

Chitra Subramaniam suffers from multiple myeloma, a type of cancer which requires regular MRIs. However, the implants that were put in had made MRIs impossible, the journalist submitted. She had to undergo a second surgery to remove the implants.

Last year, the Central Information Commission (CIC) had set a precedent when it studied the issue of a the right of a patient or his/her kin to information under the RTI Act and recommended to both the Central and State Governments that it should be made mandatory for private hospitals to provide patients with their medical records on a daily basis.

This was done with a view to discourage the tendency to alter records after damage had been caused to a patient, and also to prevent hospitals from prescribing unnecessary diagnostic tests and procedures, and putting in sub-standard or low-quality devices such as stents and implants while billing for higher priced supplies.

Source: http://www.moneylife.in/article

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