Mumbai Grahak Panchyat: Reinsert healthcare in definition of services

The Mumbai Grahak Panchayat (MGP) has written to the Prime Minister, Minister of Consumer Affairs and several other Members of Parliament to amend the proposed draft Consumer Protection Bill 2019.

The MGP chairman, Shirish Deshpande, said in the newly-drafted bill, the word, ‘healthcare’, from the definition of ‘services’ has been dropped. It will help doctors and hospitals, guilty of medical negligence, escape punishment.

The removal of the healthcare mean the victims of the gross medical negligence will be forced to approach civil courts for justice, resulting in long delays, complicated procedures, unaffordable litigation and advocate fees, believes the MGP.

Interestingly, in the 16th Lok Sabha, the Consumer Protection Bill 2018 was passed, which had specifically included healthcare in the definition of services. This inclusion was made keeping in mind several Supreme Court judgments. However, the bill could not be passed by the Rajya Sabha, as the Lok Sabha was dissolved. The same bill has now been reintroduced by removing healthcare succumbing to the pressure of medical lobby, alleged the MGP.

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