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Year : 2019  |  Volume : 67  |  Issue : 10  |  Page : 1520-1523

When the ophthalmologists turn blind

1 Convenor and Managing Trustee, Medicos Legal Action Group Trust, Chandigarh, India
2 Department of Ophthalmology, Government Medical College, Chandigarh, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Nimisha Nagpal
Department of Ophthalmology, Government Medical College, Sector 32, Chandigarh - 160 032
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ijo.IJO_315_19

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The cost of technology is high in ophthalmology but given the increasingly competitive environment and the social demand, there is a pressure to progressively lower the costs to the consumer. To keep costs down there is a tendency to do as many surgeries as possible in an assembly line fashion both in hospitals as well as in the charitable camps. This article provides ophthalmologists an insight into the legal pitfalls in practice of ophthalmology in India and the dangers of the constant lowering of costs of surgery as well as of free service. This lowering of costs would have been ideal in a Utopian world, but times have now changed and there is cost to be paid even for providing free service. In India the prevalent tradition of providing free service, has also resulted in a lowering of guard by the eye surgeons. These mass eye surgery assembly popularly called “free eye camps” has seen millions of people benefited. But recently there is an increase in number of cases where exorbitant penalty has been imposed by the courts, on these philanthropic surgeons for any deficiency in service, and this has destroyed the careers of many ophthalmologists. Time has now come to introspect and to factor the cost of litigation and compensations into the cost of surgeries so that we not only benefit the patients but also safeguard the ophthalmologists and help them fulfill their responsibilities towards their own dependents.

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