Controversies over Medical Profession under Consumer Protection Act

The most talked issue remained medical professional since inception of the act in 1986 till new act 2019 which were settled through number of SC judgments. A new turn came after enactment of new act in2019 when the issue was again raised before Kerala HC AND SC Re-affirms its stand on Healthcare service under Consumer law through its judgment in the case of Medicos Legal Action Group v Union of India|SLP (Civil) 19374/2021Decided on 22.4.2022.

FACTS: An organization “Medicos Legal Action Group”, had filed a writ petition before the High Court of Bombay as Public Interest Litigation No. 58 Of 2021 and prayed before the court to declare that services performed by healthcare service providers are not included within the purview of the Consumer Protection Act, 2019

    • That parliamentary debates on the Consumer Protection Bill, 2018 preceding the 2019 Act led to exclusion of ‘healthcare’ from the definition of the term “service” as defined in the Bill.
    • That the Hon’ble Minister for Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution, had stated on the floor of the Parliament that ‘healthcare’ had been deliberately kept out of the 2019 Act for the reasons cited therefor. This clearly indicates the parliamentary intent of not including ‘health care’ within the definition of “service” in the 2019 Act


“We are of the clear opinion that the contention raised by the learned counsel for the petitioning Trust, that the Hon’ble Minister having made certain statements in course of parliamentary debates on the Bill that preceded the 2019 Act, such statement is of little relevance. From the pleadings it is found that ‘health care’ was initially included in the definition of the term “service” appearing in the Bill but after extensive debates, the same was deleted. Mere repeal of the 1986 Act by the 2019 Act would not result in exclusion of ‘health care’ services rendered by doctors to patients from the definition of the term ‘service’” Held by Supreme Court

NOW we hope this issue in case raised again can be very well taken care by reasoned interpretation by the apex court. However, it is high time now to make appropriate amendment in the act by specifically mentioning the professional services and services provided by the statutory bodies.

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