Panel formed to check negligence by medical practitioners

Kathmandu, October 4

A committee formed to draft amendment to Health Professionals and Health Institutions’ Security Act today decided to form a panel under Dr Harihar Wasti to categorise errors and degrees of negligence by medical practitioners that could possibly take place while treating patients.

The committee took the decision during a meeting with representatives from the Ministry of Health. The panel will investigate deaths of patients during the course of treatment and will categorise errors into major, medium and minor ones.

The panel will then submit its report to the Ministry of Health within seven days. Similarly, the meeting has decided to compulsorily conduct autopsy on the body if the patient dies while undergoing treatment. “This will stop vandalism and bargaining for money when a patient dies during treatment,” said Dr Anil Bikram Karki, central member of Nepal Medical Association and also a participant of today’s meeting.

The health ministry had formed a committee to draft amendment to Health Professionals and Health Institutions’ Security Act under Dr Pushpa Chaudhary, recently.

If the act is amended as per the draft currently being prepared by the committee, then those involved in verbal abuse of medical practitioners could face a jail term of three months without bail.

Likewise, anyone who manhandles doctors could be sent to jail for six months and should pay a fine of Rs 1 to 2 lakhs.

Similarly, those involved in vandalism and arson attacks on hospitals could be jailed for one to three years and slapped a fine of Rs 3 lakhs.

“We have been trying to make necessary changes in the act which will be beneficial to both the public and medical practitioners,” Dr Karki added.