ABGP Tamilnadu demands inclusion of 'health care' in the definition of 'Service' under Consumer Protection Bill, 2019

ABGP Memorandum given through the Tirunelveli District Collector to the Honourable Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi opposing the removal of  'health care' in the definition of 'service' in the draft 'Consumer Protection Bill, 2019'. 



Shri Narendra Modi Ji 
The Honourable Prime Minister of India, 
South Raysina Hill, 
New Delhi 110001. 

Through the Tirunelveli District Collector 

Sub: Inclusion of ‘Health Care’ in the definition of ‘Service’ under the Consumer Protection Bill, 2019. 

Respected Sir, 

Namaste and Greetings from Akhil Bharatiya Grahak Panchayat. 

Akhil Bharatiya Grahak Panchayat is one of the reputed NGO in India which inclined to protect the interests of consumers and aims to create a harmonious society by uplifting the rights of consumers. It is actively involved in mass consumer issues and is working to create a society that would free from exploitation. 

This letter is written in reference to the proposed amendment in Consumer Protection Act, 1986. It has come to my notice that certain charges have been made in the Consumer Protection Bill, 2018. As a Grahak organisation we are concerned with the changed definition of ‘service’ as proposed to be defined u/s 2(42) of the Consumer Protection Bill 2018. The original definition of ‘service’ included the term ‘health care’ however the new definition of ‘service’ proposes to remove ‘health care’ from its definition. 

The change is probably made based upon the representation of Indian Medical Association. I have seen the press statement dated 25th June, 2019 of Indian Medical Association expressing thanks for removing the health care service from definition of service. It is stated in the press statement that removal of health care from the services will be turning point in Doctor-Patient relationship and also address the larger issue of Health care violence. 

Firstly, I fall to understand that how would removal of ‘health care’ from the definition of ‘service’ can help to improve the Doctor-Patient relationship. 

Secondly, we would like to state that we do not support any kind of violence’s done against doctors and hospitals. We strongly opine that for any grievances, people should take the legal course. In fact, the root cause of violence against doctors and hospitals in due to medical negligence and other deviant practices are adopted by some Hospitals and some Doctors. These practices include extracting of more and more money from patients, arrogant behaviour against patients and their relatives, prescribing unnecessary tests and prescribing expensive medicines of specific pharmaceutical companies which at times are available only with the next-door pharmacy. Sir, these are only examples, the incidents are many more. The number of such doctors or hospitals may be very less but it is reality. 

Indian consumers have faith in the present judicial system and hence they approach courts in order to avail legal remedies. It is only that so the unwanted elements may take recourse of violence against doctors and hospitals. 

I fail to understand that how would the removal of 'health care’ the definition of 'services' in the proposed Bill would help in reducing violence against Doctors and Hospitals. On the contrary, by removing ‘health care’ from the definition of ‘service’ will make very difficult for the consumers to obtain relief from the courts against hospital and doctors. In fact, it may increase the violences against the institution of health care services and doctors. The health care industry lobby has wrongly convinced the Government for the removal of ‘health care’ from Consumer Protection Bill. 

Thirdly and most importantly, the basic definition of ‘service’ is not going to help the health care’ from the definition of service is not changed by removal of health care. But from the list given in definition of service health care is removed. The said definition Is an inclusive definition and is not limited to the services given in definition, the terra ‘health care’, is not kept out of purview of the Act and still the complaint under ‘The Consumer Protection Act’ can be filed against health care institution. However, the ‘removal’ of ‘health care’ would rather open the scope of various adverse interpretation by courts of law leading to confusion and increase in agony amongst consumers. 

Hence, on one hand removal of ‘health care’ from the definition of service is not going to help the health care institutions and on other hand it creates wrong impression in the mind of general people that Government has made this amendment which is against the interest of consumers. 

In view of above, it is requested to include the word ‘health care’ in definition of service under ‘The Consumer Protection Bill, 2019’. 

Akhila Bharatiya Grahak Panchayat - Tirunelveli District

S Gulothunga Manian - Secretary
Joint Secretary
S R Subramanian
Tirunelveli District Co-ordinator

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