Consumer Protection Act-Awareness?
Background: With the inclusion of health care services under Consumer Protection Act, a spurt in litigations arising out of breach in medical/dental profession is seen. Thus, it becomes imperative for health professionals today to be aware of such laws.
Objective: To assess and compare the awareness about Consumer Protection Act among dentists (dentists in teaching institutions and dentists in private practice.)
Material and Methods: A questionnaire survey was carried out on a total of 224 dentists [112 dentists in teaching institutions (DTI)] from Manipal and Mangalore and 112 dentists in private practice (DPP) from Udupi and Mangalore, Karnataka, India]. Statistical Analysis was done using SPSS version 10. Chi- square test was used to compare between the categorical variables (P≤0.05).
Results: A total of 69.6% of DTI and 76.8% of DPP reported to be aware of Consumer Protection Act but subsequent analysis of responses did not reveal the same. Awareness (> 75%) about rules and regulations of Consumer Protection Act was found to be low in both the dentist group. No difference was seen in awareness based on gender, degree and type of practice (P>0.05). Significantly higher percentage of DPP as compared to DTI (90.7% Vs 69.2% ; P ≤ 0.05) were observed to rely upon regular consent.
Conclusion: There is a need to raise the awareness of health professionals about such laws so that their increased professional concern and practice conforms to welfare of patients.
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