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Year : 2020  |  Volume : 33  |  Issue : 5  |  Page : 265-270

Court evidence via video conferencing by doctors: Savings of time, money and energy

Department of Forensic Medicine, Government Medical College, Patiala, Punjab, India

Correspondence Address:
Akash Deep Aggarwal
14, Desi Mehmandari, Patiala, Punjab
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0970-258X.317478

Background. Doctors are called to courts to give evidence as experts. This is time-consuming and impedes routine patient care. The court ordered the state to instal a video conferencing system for the benefit of doctors in hospitals for this purpose. We aimed to quantify the costs and benefits of the video conferencing system for doctors to give evidence as expert witness in courts. Methods. We analysed the tele-evidence system at our institution from the societal point of view examining whether the arrangements were positive for the taxpayers and second from the point of view of a cost–break-even analysis. Results. Over a period of 1 year, 482 tele-evidences were recorded from our site. Most of the doctors appearing for court evidence were males (84%) and the majority were in government health services (84.4%). These expert witnesses included specialists (83.8%), followed by super-specialists (10.4%) and non-specialists (5.8%). The subject experts who were called the most were radiologists (19.5%), forensic experts (18.3%), surgeons (18.0%), orthopaedic surgeons (12.4%) and neurosurgeons (6.6%). Average savings per tele-evidence were ₹2620; 181 km of travel was prevented and 4 hours and 12 minutes of time was saved. Conclusions. Given our limited resources, video conferencing saves costs, time and travel.

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