Mediation in the Healthcare Sector
In India, litigation is sought to resolve the maximum of the medical malpractice cases. According to a survey of the plaintiffs in these cases, problems pertaining to this method can be enlisted as i) a hostile atmosphere; ii) problems with regards to enforcement; iii) heavy costs involved; iv) lack of flexibility in outcomes/solutions; v) uncertainty with regards to compensation and outcome; vi) procedural delays. Among these the cost factor is highly important, usually, the expenditure in lawyers, suit charges, etc turn out to be around 50% of the compensation received, that too, only in case compensation is provided; otherwise, it can have devastating results for the party. this process can also have adverse effects on the patient-doctor relationships, which again can have the same effects on the employer's health insurance programs. Doctors undergoing litigation processes end up being ostracized from society, which may affect their self-assessment and confidence, causing them to make mistakes in the future. Thus, it is suggestive that these cases can be referred for the process of mediation rather than undergoing litigation process. Mediation comes with its advantages making the resolution a more acceptable choice. Mediation is a process where a third neutral party facilitates a conversation between parties in dispute to come to a compromise in a friendly environment. This process helps to get the most desirable solution to the problem without hampering the relation between the disputing parties. Mediation in medical malpractices may have some common steps with litigation processes such as discovery, the conducting of depositions, presentation and discussion of evidence, opening and closing arguments, but unlike the latter, it involves a healthier discussion and proper communication between the parties. Rather than hampering the relations, it preserves them thus not affect the insurance-related transactions. Also, mediation promises confidentiality. In litigation, to avoid incriminating statements usually, there is no two-way discussion between the parties. But rather in mediation, where whole parties are given a chance to speak their will freely, without any privacy infringement. Other characteristics, such as being cost and time efficient come hand-in-hand. Thus, keeping these factors in mind, it can be suggested that mediation can be used for healing in the healthcare sector.