The lack of accountability is considered to be a major cause of the crisis in health care in India. Physicians as key stakeholders in the health care delivery system have traditionally been accountable for health concerns at the doctor-patient interface. Following social and organizational dynamics, the interpretations of accountability have broadened and shifted in the recent literature, expanding accountability to the community, national and global levels and to social domains. The objective of this study is to provide a comprehensive framework of accountability in medical practice that can be used as a vehicle for further contextualized research and policy input. Through literature review, this paper is presented in two parts. First, a description of accountability of a physician inclusive of the social domains is extracted by posing three pertinent questions: who is accountable? accountability to whom? and accountability for what? which addresses the roles, relationships with other stakeholders and domains of accountability. Second, a framework of accountability of a physician is designed and presented to illustrate the professional and social domains. This study revealed a shift from individual physician's accountability to collective accountability involving multiple stakeholders through complex reciprocal and multi-layered mechanisms inclusive of the social dimensions. We propose a comprehensive framework of accountability of the physician to include the social domains that its multidimensional and integrative of all stakeholders. Furthermore, we discuss the utility of the framework in the Indian health care system and how this can facilitate further research in understanding the social dimensions of all stakeholders.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Psychiatry and Mental health