Proving Medical Negligence: A Doctor's Advice

I must compliment you on your write up “Proving Medical Negligence” in MoneyLife of 12th April 07. I would like to add a few points here:

- Taking a doctor/hospital to court should always be an objective decision and not riddled with emotions or misguided by some with vested interests.

- I sincerely hope this judgement will force doctors to shift from “main hoon na” to “We are a team” approach. Today, when a large percentage of medical/healthcare is technology dependent, more so in the realms of surgery and post-operative care, team approach is what is most beneficial to the consumer. Not only all specialties of doctors but nurses, technicians, bio-medical engineers and physicists all play a major role and together lead the patient to recovery. Here are some questions for those planning to take a doctor /hospital to court:

1. Was the negligence an act of omission or an act of commission?

2. Was there any similar act of omission or commission on the part of the complainant, i.e., not following instructions or resorting to some other therapy without consulting the attending doctor or withholding of valuable information, etc?

3. Has some quantifiable damage occurred? The issue here is negligence and NOT mere carelessness; it is carelessness where there is a duty of taking care and where failure in that duty causes damage. Negligence that does not lead to damage will not give rise to an action but negligence causing damage will give rise to an action - civil or criminal. In order to succeed in an action for negligence, a plaintiff must be able to establish to the satisfaction of the court that s/he has sustained an actual loss or injury, which springs from the negligence of the defendant (doctor). If s/he can prove this, s/he is entitled to damages in terms of money. (I am quoting this from a text book of medical jurisprudence.)

4. Even today, close to 80% of suits filed are dismissed as the courts find NO basis for litigation but each such case promotes excess investigations and referrals as each doctor wants to keep himself safe. We are today ordering more scans just for “dekh lete hain; kuch miss na ho jaye”.

On our portal, we provide tips on how to avoid litigation under the heads ‘dos and don’ts’ and ‘non-clinical/legal’. Not saying NO to genuine litigation for negligence, let us pray we don’t get ambulance-chasers in India!
Dr CH Asrani, Mumbai, by email

Kafkaesque IDBI Bank

I have seen Ms Dalal presenting the truth about the share market with unrelenting passion. I have also been a regular reader of her columns in the Indian Express. I admire her as a rare journalist in a country which abounds in shoddy journalists. By chance, I picked up MoneyLIFE from a pavement vendor. When I saw that she is the consulting editor, I immediately sent my subscription although I do not take great interest in the market even though, as a Gujarati, all my money is in the share market. I lost heavily in DSQ Software because of the criminal Dinesh Dalmia. Now I have a portfolio manager and I am alright.

Please read the following. It is Kafkaesque. I have 6000 shares of Electrolux. I have them in the IDBI Bank Dmat account. The company is defunct. IDBI Bank charges me Rs100+ per month to have the shares in my account. I was told by IDBI Bank to keep the shares frozen as they cannot be re-materialised as the company is defunct. But they still charge me Rs100 or so per month. This is the only scrip in my Dmat account with IDBI. The Bank puts a price of Rs25 per share when the shares are not traded at all. I must have paid IDBI Bank over Rs3000 in the past nearly three years. I do not know how to get out of this trap. I am thinking of getting them put in an active account in my IDBI Bank account and transfer them to my Dmat account in HDFC Bank. Is there a way out? Good luck with your magazine!
NR Desai, Mumbai, by email

Thousands of investors are suffering the same fate. Rematerialising the shares is the only way to avoid paying for dud companies, but that too comes at a price. Investor groups have been agitating the issue with SEBI for several years without success. Yet, investor protection is part of the preamble to the SEBI Act! Write to us. - Editor   

Guide for Retail Investors

This refers to the cover story, “13 funds for any market”. Thanks to some relief provided by Governor Reddy and the FM in the recent credit policy, some sanity has returned to the market. In a scenario when the market does not seem to know which direction it should go, the mutual fund route, and that too through SIP, makes a more sensible option for us, retail investors. With your cover story focusing on funds for any situation, readers should be thankful to you. Though you have covered almost every well-performing mutual fund, I feel there was scope for funds like SBI Magnum Global and Contra which have given decent returns over the years. And Purvi Seth has thrown light on a very sensitive issue of love at workplace which is becoming more prevalent now-a-days. There is no doubt that it affects your work and her suggestions should be more than handy.
Bal Govind Bareilly, by email

Any Online Subscription Option?

I was a subscriber of MoneyLIFE, until recently. My subscription has come to an end. I would like to know if there is any online edition of your magazine, which we could subscribe to.  I am not in India currently and although I am a big fan of your magazine, I can’t read it. If there is any such option, please do mail me and I would be happy to subscribe to your online edition. Keep up the good work of researching the markets for us.
Shardul Gadgil, by email

Unfortunately, we don’t have an online version as yet. We hope to do it sometime. Thanks for your interest and support. - Editor

The Jyoti of Shivajirao Patil

Please refer to the interview with Shivajirao Adhalrao Patil. Inexplicably, I feel touched by Mr Patil’s reference to Jyoti Ltd being a company that really supported him in the early years of Elmatronics, as his firm was called then. I myself was with Jyoti those days, although my department, electronics purchase cell under the PEC & relays division, had relatively few dealings than our R&D purchase cell, which procured microprocessors and other specialised components for the various technology and product development groups plus the instrumentation and laser divisions.

Elmatronics was always very helpful in procurement of esoteric material in small numbers, quite in contrast to other traders in Lamington Road.

While Mr Patil openly shared his knowledge of the ‘equivalents’ and his confidence by referring to the data books as well as his own inquiries with various market sources - simply finding a technical equivalent was not enough. He had to commit deliveries or advise non-availability. Others who knew the equivalents would leave that onus with the buyer to avoid blame for a ‘second-source’ component’s inferiority, or, surreptitiously pack the alternative devices and argue if caught.

Subsequently, Mr Patil’s firm Dynalog has, indeed, been responsible for generations of engineers, hobbyists and enthusiasts learning microprocessors and their applications, be it developing products or learning assembly language programming. Incidentally, one always addressed him as “Mr Adhalrao” because he referred to himself or signed as “S Adhalrao” or in full form.

Many other businessmen and professionals have got a lot more largesse from Jyoti Ltd by way of monetary and non-monetary support, to develop their own businesses and careers, thanks to a very open and progressive management team under a magnanimous leader and visionary chairman, Dr Nanubhai Amin.
However, most of these beneficiaries, some who continue to gain in one way or other, have joined the few embittered cynics to slander the company and its promoters.
Udit Chaudhuri, Mumbai, by email

Useless comparison

Please refer to the article that appeared in the 12th April issue in the “Loose Change” section. The article illustrates a comparison of the highly taxed countries with the maximum individual tax. The comparison is not of much use because, along with the tax rates, in some of the countries there is also a return to the taxpayer in the form of robust social security. Like in Netherlands, citizens are covered for health, employment benefits and so on. In India, there are no such schemes for tax-paying citizens.
Rajan R Vaswani, Gurgaon, by email

By putting out the comparison, we did not intend to underline that Indians are taxed less. Indeed, MoneyLIFE takes the stance that any tax is bad - because the Indian government uses taxpayers' money far less efficiently than the way a business entity or an individual would use it. Your point illustrates this fact very well. While welfare states use the tax money to build support systems, the Indian government wastes it on programmes and people with little accountability, which is why we find it baffling that so many people consider the current rates of taxes "reasonable" - Editor

Company Secretaries Unite

I just read Anil Deshpande’s travails in the matter of inheriting shares that appeared many months ago, on your site. To me, the attitude of the company secretary of the unnamed foreign company is totally discrediting to the profession of company secretaries of which I am also a member. I offer my full support to any action to discipline such companies and to make them behave in a shareholder-friendly manner.
PM Augustine, Company Secretary (No:1549), by email


You should not plan to grow too fast

After working for the Oberoi group for 25 years, Anil Madhok founded the fast-growing Sarovar...

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Once a glamour stock, NDTV headed for sickness?

After it palms off its loss-making subsidiaries to foolish strategic investors, what can stop NDTV from becoming a sick company?

NDTV reported a net loss of Rs34.27 crore for September quarter this year, on an operational income of Rs65.65 crore. This is not surprise. After all, it had reported a net loss of Rs11.85 crore on an income of Rs71.66 crore in the corresponding quarter last year. Indeed, NDTV has been making losses ever since it got listed. What is also not surprising is the company's statement said that revenues were "buoyant" in October and "we expect to see a turnaround in the next two quarters." Investors have been fed with enough of such rosy scenarios before. The facts have always turned out to be otherwise. What is surprising is that the company is still operational.

The fact is, NDTV has rarely made money from operations. For the last few years, its consolidated operations have been making cash losses and it has been running on money made by selling loss-making subsidiaries to foolish strategic investors like Turner International. This business of passing on the parcel is continuing even now.

In late October, NDTV has roped in Astro All Asia Networks Plc with which it will create a strategic alliance for lifestyle channels in India. Astro will acquire a 49% stake in NDTV Lifestyle by putting in $40 million, while the balance will be held by the company. NDTV Lifestyle operates NDTV Good Times, a loss-making channel with little viewership. Why Astro should be valuing this junk at $80 million beats us but NDTV has always found such buyers. NDTV Lifestyle was earlier being palmed off to Scripps of US.
After this, there will be little left to palm off. Whatever is left is losing money. Consolidated income from operations for the quarter was Rs78.48 crore and net loss was Rs 67.63 crore. This September quarter NDTV wrote off Rs24.18 as permanent loss of various investments in its subsidiaries.

NDTV, which runs channels like NDTV 24X7, NDTV India and NDTV Profit, has tried to be a broadcaster with a wide bouquet of channels but these have all flopped because of its gold-plated operations in a cut-throat business. Salaries at NDTV are humungous; carriage fees charged by distributors are high, while the advertising pie is hardly expanding. All this was obvious since 2005-06.

NDTV is a live example of two facts of the marketplace: One, private equity investors often suffer from gross misjudgement and two, glamour stocks usually deliver unglamorous returns. When launching the initial public offering (IPO) in April 2004, Prannoy Roy told investors: "We have historically made profits all through and paid good dividends. Investors should consider this while taking a decision." NDTV was backed by top private equity investors.

However, the fact is that before NDTV got listed, it had a different business model altogether. For a long period it was a content-supplier making fixed revenues. After its IPO, it attempted to be a multi-channel broadcasting company. Its IPO was over-subscribed 17 times and NDTV collected Rs110 crore offloading about 25% stake to the public. In the first year of its existence as a listed company NDTV posted a net loss of Rs50 crore (FY2004) and has been limping along all these years. It just doesn't seem to, does it? Well, here is a simple fact. The stock got listed on 19th May 2004. At the end of that day the stock price was Rs99. More than six years later, the price is Rs105.




6 years ago

Why they are so anti-hindu ? They think they can fool all the people all the time. Their time is up. Nobody will feel their absence if they fold up. After all there is something called retribution.


7 years ago

This is indeed very good news. Ms Dalal, when do you foresee NDTV shutting shop completely? That will be one good day for India....

Anil Kohli

7 years ago

Very honestly no one is going to miss NDTV, if it were to go down the tube(Drain) seems more apt.

The staffers of this media entity have over indulged in their passion of majority bashing and in your face stuff.

All this while a few grumbled about their antics,ever since the #barkhagate the opinion is openly hostile. Public is baying for blood not just of the individual involved but NDTV as a whole.

We have been betrayed our trust has been abused.

Retribution is the only emotion visible among the large number of Indians. Sooner than later is better.

"From The Dizzy Heights of Kargil to Despairing Depths of Oblivion."

Prashanth KP

7 years ago

Just awaiting its closure with eagerness. NDTV has reduced itself to a stooge of Congress, everything Muslim and vehemently Anti-Hindu and Anti-National! Losses apart, should be closed or should file for bankruptcy. Viewers should ensure this.


7 years ago

Ah! before I forget, the blatanly Anti Hindu, Anti National would loose ratings is not something that was unexpected.
I only prefer Times, Mr Arab Goswami has a such better views that are balanced and he does not indulge in fanatical Anti Hindu ranting.


Madhusudan Thakkar

In Reply to Amit 7 years ago

Times Now,CNN-IBN,NewsX, and Headlines Today are also equally biased.Arnab Goswami,Rajdeep Sardesai,Rahul Kanwal and Seema Mustafa have made turned news channels as entertainment channels and" time pass channels".Full of sound and fury signifying nothing.
Off late they are doing lot of "dramabazi" on exposing scams but people know their "nautanki".
Funding of these channels should be investigated.


7 years ago

We are sick of NDTV and its idiotic reporting anyway. Its a bigoted channel with equally bigoted anchors,
Good riddance I say, bye bye NDTV


7 years ago

NDTV was a novelty when unbiased sephology was offered to the unsuspecting voters. But when Pranoy started taking political sides and started becoming a pro congress news distributor the discerning views must have dropped NDTV.

Madhusudan Thakkar

7 years ago

NDTV 24X7 is a SICKular channel and it is no wonder that it is heading for sickness. It an an unofficial channel of Congress party.Pranoy Roy,Barkha Dutt,Nidhi Razdan and Vikram Chandra are unofficial spokespersons of congress party. NDTV India, the Hindi channel also consists of pseudo secular gang comprising of Vinod Dua,Ravish Kumar,Abhigyan Praksah etc. Both news channels are blatantly biased.Both these channels have lost CREDIBILITY and GOODWILL..As regards to its entertainment channel the less said is better with cheap shows like "Rakhi ka Swayamber" and Rahul Mahajan's marriage.It is pertinent to note that in entertainment segment "Colors" was launched around same time and due to good programming it overtook leading channels like Star plus,Zee and Sony.Except "Highway on my plate" other program mes on NDTV Good Times are not up to the mark. NDTV profit has nothing new to offer.IBN is also headed towards same direction.Source of funds of these channels should be thoroughly investigated."Jaisi karni vaisi bharni."


vinod gupta

In Reply to Madhusudan Thakkar 7 years ago

madhusudan well said
jaisi karni waisi bharni

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