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Can a patient get his case history after being discharged from a hospital?

Q: Can a patient get the copies of his/her case history for the period of hospitalisation? If yes which act gives the guidelines for it?

A:As per law, a doctor has to provide a copy of medical records within 72 hours of demand on payment of requisite charges. Hospitals often do not bother about this rule. Hence it is better to apply for the records in writing and under acknowledgement. It is better to state in the application that the applicant is willing to shoulder requisite charges. If the doctor / hospital does not supply the record within 72 hours, it is breach of law and complaint can be made to the State Medical Council against the doctor. The relevant provisions of law are reproduced below: As per the Code of Ethics Regulations, 2002 (Published in Part III, Section 4 of the Gazette of India, dated 6th April, 2002) Maintenance of medical records: If any request is made for medical records either by the patients / authorised attendant or legal authorities involved, the same may be duly acknowledged and documents shall be issued within the period of 72 hours. Misconduct: The following acts of commission or omission on the part of a physician shall constitute professional misconduct rendering him/her liable for disciplinary action. If he / she does not maintain the medical records of his / her indoor patients for a period of three years as per regulation 1.3 and refuses to provide the same within 72 hours when the patient or his / her authorised representative makes a request for it as per the regulation.

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