Consumer forum Finds Hospital Guilty of Deficiency in Service
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16 February 2009
The Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum, Pune has ordered the Inlaks and Budhrani Hospital and Research Centre at Koregaon Park and medical practitioner Sanjeev Gupta of the United Kingdom to jointly pay Rs 5 lakh to Kamala Velayudhan and three others in a case of deficiency in service.
P Velayudhan (72) of J P Nagar in Pune was admitted at the intensive care unit of the hospital for acute coronary symptom on September 30, 2002. Subsequently Velayudhan’s condition became critical and he passed away. The cause of death was given as “Pulmonary oedema and unstable angina”.
Velayudhan’s relatives requested the hospital authorities to give them the case papers and other documents because they were not satisfied with the treatment. The hospital authorities provided the documents, but did not give them the X–ray report. After seeking the opinion of medical experts, the family filed a case of deficiency in service at the consumer forum demanding compensation of Rs 12 lakh from the hospital and Gupta.
Lawyer Sanjay Gaikwad, representing the victim’s family argued that deficiency in providing timely treatment had caused the death of Velayudhan.
Gaikwad submitted that the hospital did not send Velayudhan’s body for a post–mortem, particularly since he died within 24 hours of being admitted and prayed that compensation be awarded to the family members.
Lawyers Manoj Gadkari and Surekha Kinkar, representing the hospital and Gupta, refuted the allegations levelled by the complainant, by saying that the hospital had provided proper treatment to the patient and asked that the case be dismissed.
Forum president Pradip Gaikwad and members Sulbha Joshi and Jawahar Naik in its order stated, “There is reason to believe that the patient was left high and dry for about three hours after he was admitted to the hospital. No one bothered to see if the medicines had been administered to the patient. A failure on the part of opposite parties to look after and monitor the condition of the patient, that too in the ICU for about three hours continuously would amount to deficiency in service.”
The forum directed the parties to pay Rs 5 lakh to the complainants within two months from the date of receiving the order.
When contacted, the hospital’s general manager Sunder Vaswani said that the hospital would appeal, after getting a certified copy of the judgment from the consumer forum.