Article 21 includes the right to health as a fundamental right to every citizen of this country which says that every individual has the right to get basic health care. The directive principles and states policies also include the health care as an important part, but when it comes to its implementation the laws are inadequate to fulfil the space of what is required and what present laws are. The sickness of the health care system can be estimated through the budget that is available for the health care system, it is only some percentage of the total GDP. India stands at 145th rank out of 195 in health care access and quality of health care system which shows the panic situation that our health care system is going through. Therefore what is required is stringent laws and strict rules in order to bring the health care system on track.
The present laws that are dealing with medical negligence and health care are very few. In general, the medical negligence and malpractices is treated under Indian penal code section 52,80,88,81,90,92,304A, & 337 as well Consumer Protection Act, Criminal act and other various Acts.
But there is no single legislation that can cover all of them under one roof and this case gets worse as it comes to rural areas where there is lack of awareness about the medical laws and what can be done legally. The medical negligence is one of the biggest cause of deaths in India every year there are millions of people who die as a result of medical negligence but when it comes to justice there is no separate tribunal in which cases related to medical negligence or malpractices can be taken, they are either taken to consumer forum or to the regular sessions court in which the case gets prolonged for years.
Another reason for the requirement of new laws is to regulate the conditions of government hospitals in India. The condition in government hospitals is very critical, every year thousands of deaths are recorded in the government hospitals and the reasons for these are they are no rigid laws to look after the government hospitals working. Recently in many cities of India deaths of many infants took place, but due to lack of laws, there is no proper action taken against the people who are responsible for it.
The present laws are needed to be replaced because the role of private hospitals in the medical health care system is questionable. The private hospitals in India have a large network they promise to provide better treatment to the patient but the charges that are put by these private hospitals is very much high and because of which every year number of deaths can be reported and many cases of unethical practices are filed but due to lack of legislation there are only a few cases in which justice can be achieved. The charges that are put by the private hospital are so high that many a time’s people cannot afford it and die due to inaccessibility of the health care services.
Because of the lack of legislation, the private hospitals do many malpractices which are against the medical code of conduct and hence they take advantage of it. According to a report of World Bank, eight per cent of medical spending is done from personal funds, and because of lack of legislation, the private medical services do not ensure that basic medical facilities are there or not.
The malpractice that goes in these hospital causes bills of amounting lakhs which are not affordable for every person and hence there is a requirement to make laws to regulate fees of these hospitals as well as there is a need to keep an eye on the working of these hospitals so that any type of malpractice can be stopped.
Coming next to the drugs and medicine, there are many medicines that have been prohibited by the IMA and other institutions but then also they are sold out in the market and because of lack of legislation there is no ban on industries who are making available these types of medicine to the whole country, hence it causes number of deaths, major health issues in masses. The prices of the medicines are also one of the major issues in India the prices of many life-giving medicines are very high in the market and many times there is black marketing of these medicines which also causes major harm to the health care system.
The revisions of the medical laws and ethics are very rare because of which the medical health care system is paralysed in our country in many countries like the USA, the UK the medical laws are revised very frequently and because of which their medical care system is very progressive. But in India due to lack of political interest, the medical laws are not updated with time and which causes major issues like malpractices, breaking of code of conduct etc. Thus there is a requirement that new medical laws required to be put forward.
As it has been discussed that why there is a requirement of new medical laws, what is required is needed to be discussed. The medical laws are needed to be updated and required to be strong enough to cut down the malpractices and avoid medical negligence. The updating of the medical laws should be according to the International standards and must also regulate the private hospital’s prices as well as government hospitals day to day working.
The drugs and medicine laws should also be updated so that drugs which causes major harm to the health of the people can be called off and major sanctions against the industries who are making those drugs available in the market. The medicals laws must cover all the major gaps that are causing major harm to the health of India especially bogus medical practitioners who are one of the major cause of deaths in rural areas. The strict and stringent rules and better implementation are the only ray of hope to improve the medical health condition in India. The accessibility of the medical facilities and quality should be the aim of these legislatures.
Lastly, there should be separate legislation for the medical care system under which all the laws and sanctions should be kept as well as a new tribunal which is specifically dealing with the medical issues should be made rather than taking it to the regular courts. Hence there is a requirement of new medical laws which bridges the gap between present laws and more rigid and stringent laws.