Consumers Court:Directs Hospitals (Records)and Insuarance Co (FIRs)

Hospitals must give records within 72 hrs

Prafulla Marpakwar | TNN

Mumbai: In a landmark order, the national consumer disputes redressal commission has made it mandatory for all medical practitioners and hospitals across the country to provide the entire medical records of a patient to him\her or the authorised nominee or legal authorities concerned within 72 hours of the demand.

Simultaneously, the commission asked the Medical Council of India to promulgate a comprehensive notification. Accordingly, a week ago, the MCI directed medical practitioners and hospitals to provide the medical records of a patient within three days of the request.

‘‘In any set of circumstances, hospitals\medical practitioners shall hand over the medical records of the patient to him or his relatives within 72 hours,’’ the MCI said in its circular.

The commission’s directives, followed by the MCI circular, assume significance since the general tendency among medical practitioners and hospitals has been either to avoid a request for medical records or delay it for obvious reasons. However, Hinduja Hospital director G B Davar welcomed the move, saying it was in the interest of patients.

A former dean of J J Hospital, Davar said parting with medical records would improve the relationship between the doctor and the hospital. ‘‘If all records are made available to a patient immediately, there will be no scope for doubt of any kind,’’ he said.

An order by the national consumer disputes redressal commission says all docs, hospitals must provide patient’s medical records within 72 hours of the demand being made
Medical Council of India has directed all hospitals to implement panel’s order “in any set of circumstances”


‘FIR not must to claim theft relief’


New Delhi: Insurance companies cannot reject a theft claim for want of an FIR copy observed the state consumer commission in a recent order. The commission has fined United India Insurance Company Rs 25,000 and Rs 5,000 as cost of litigation, for not deciding the claim of the insured for two years because a copy of the FIR was not furnished, and thereby forcing the consumer to take legal remedy.

Presiding over the commission, Justice J D Kapoor said: ‘‘It is a misconceived notion that the insurance policy covering the risk of theft of household articles or other goods is not indemnifiable unless the person produces a copy of the FIR.’’

According to Justice Kapoor, when a person approaches the police to report a theft, it is the police that decide whether to convert the complaint into an FIR or a daily diary. There is no difference between an FIR and a simple complaint lodged by the person, he added.

In the theft claim case, the complainant Subhash Chander Khanna, had gone to a cinema hall in Jaipur in 2006 where his wallet was stolen. He lodged a report with Jaipur police and filed for a claim with the insurance company. When the insurance company asked for a copy of the FIR, he approached Jaipur police, which issued him only a stamped copy of the daily diary report.

The insurance company did not adjudicate the claim by insisting on a copy of the FIR. When his claim was not settled, Khanna sent a letter to the insurance company saying that if it was not satisfied about the occurrence of theft, it may send investigators or may write to police about the facts.

Justice Kapoor said, ‘‘Since there was no material with the insurance company falsifying the occurrence of theft, it was liable pay compensation for mental agony, harassment and cost of proceedings.

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