Medico-legal expertise is a relatively new profession in India. Hence, issues like legal experts handling problems involving accidents, treatment in hospitals and patient-doctor grievances are not well developed in India as yet. The Indian Association of Medico-Legal Experts (IAML) have been entrusted with the responsibility of medico-legal cases. Medico-legal expertise is required for Forensic Medicine, Medical Jurisprudence and Toxicology.
Most insurance companies cover medico-legal issues in some form or the other. For example, the New India Assurance Company (External website that opens in a new window) offers the Professional Indemnity Policy (External website that opens in a new window) for doctors and medical practitioners. This policy covers liability falling on them as a result of errors and omissions committed whilst rendering professional service.
The policy offers a benefit of retroactive period on continuous renewal, whereby claims reported in subsequent renewal but pertaining to earlier period after first inception of the policy, also become payable. Group policies can also be issued covering members of a hospital or medical institution or department. A group discount in premium is also available, which depends on the number of members covered. Another professional indemnity policy is the United India Insurance Company policy (External website that opens in a new window).
The Madhya Pradesh Government has established a Medico Legal Institute in Bhopal (External website that opens in a new window) taking cognizance of the Central Medico Legal Advisory Committee, set up by the Union Ministry of Health in 1958. The scope of the institute is quasi-judicial in nature.
Source: National Portal Content Management Team, Reviewed on:10-02-2011