NEW DELHI, May 18: Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER), MoS PMO, Personnel, Public Grievances, Pensions, Atomic Energy and Space, Dr Jitendra Singh inaugurated here today the 3-day “Medical Conclave on Legal and Ethical Challenges in Healthcare Eco System”.
The Conclave, organized by All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in collaboration with “Research Foundation of Hospital and healthcare Administration”, will have separate sessions spread over three days, exclusively devoted to different themes including Legal and Ethical Challenges in Healthcare Eco System, negligence in medical practice, Consumer Protection Act, medico-legal issues in organ transplantation, crucial decisions like euthanasia, etc.
In his inaugural address, Dr Jitendra Singh dwelt on the genesis of the current Indian scenario and said, in the first two decades after independence, the doctor-patient trust was of very high level and a family doctor not only functioned as a doctor, but also as a family mentor, arbitrator, counselor and even a match-maker. However, with the advance of times, now this is the third-generation of post independent India and the Indian population also comprises more than 65% people below the age of 40 years,he said. Therefore, he said, India of 2017 is truly an India of youth aspiration, youth priorities and youth yardsticks which follow a different rule – book which is not influenced by the feudal mindset of earlier generations.
Dr Jitendra Singh recalled that when the Consumer Protection Act was made applicable on medical fraternity about 20 years ago, there was a huge debate about it. But now, it has not only become an essential part of our lives, but has also gone one step further to get influenced by even more legalities. He said, a number of factors may be responsible for the present state of affairs, which include breakdown of rural-urban divide with a more awakened and informed rural population, mushrooming of private sector and last but not the least, change in the disease spectrum of India with shift from communicable diseases to non-communicable diseases, which involve life-long management with consequent life-long economic burden and life-long family support. All these factors, he said, are also liable to conflict situations involving ethics and legalities.
In the final reckoning, however, Dr Jitendra Singh, the ultimate remedy to all these is the evolution of a self-code to be observed not only by doctors but also by patients and in fact by the society as a whole. Until the time that level is achieved, he said, we will have to continue working out different checks and balances and the ironic fallout is that now even at the AIIMS, young medicos are being given training in Karate and self-defence to protect themselves against a possible assault.
Medical Superintendent AIIMS Dr Shakti Gupta, who is also the Chairperson of the Conclave, in his welcome address, said that the 3-day conclave will deliberate in detail on various issues which have become a matter of concern and attention for both the medical fraternity as well as the society in the recent years. He hoped that the conclusions arrived at the three-day meet would pave the way for charting out a future course of action to meet the legal and ethical challenges while optimum healthcare.
Dr Siddhartha Satpati Prof. HoD Department of Hospital Administration and Dr D.K. Sharma, Medical Superintendent also spoke on the occasion.