Pvt Hospital Fined For Negligence
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24 May 2010
The State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission, UP, has ordered that a private hospital and its surgeon pay Rs 2.55 lakh as compensation, to an appellant, after holding them guilty of medical negligence and deficiency of service. The judgment by Justice Bhanwar Singh has come on an appeal filed by Chandra Shekhar Pandey against the judgment of September 21, 2004 of the district consumer forum, Gorakhpur whereby, the complaint of the appellant was dismissed.
The appellant was husband of Shanti Pandey, who died following a surgery performed by Dr R K Pandey. The appellant alleged that his wife was suffering from abdominal pain when she consulted Dr Chakrapani Pandey. On his consultation, the woman underwent sonography test by Dr Salil Chandra who, in turn, diagnosed that she had stones in her gall bladder. On basis of Dr Chandra’s report, Dr Chakrapani Pandey advised the patient to go for surgical operation by Dr R K Pandey.
When consulted by appellant, Dr R K Pandey advised removal of his wife’s gall bladder and demanded Rs 10,000 for surgery. The woman was then admitted to Saraf Hospital, Gorakhpur for surgery on November 16, 2000. The appellant further alleged that Dr Pandey did not find any stone in gall bladder of his wife but noticed that gall bladder was malignant, still he conducted surgery without consulting a cancer specialist.
The doctor retained the patient in hospital for nine more days without proceeding with or recommending any treatment for cancer. The patient died on November 25, 2000. The appellant pleaded that doctor was guilty of medical negligence. On the other hand, the doctor conceded that he had surgically opened abdomen of the patient to remove gall bladder but did not remove it as adjoining parts (porta and omentum) were infected with malignancy.
The doctor further stated that a tissue was taken for biopsy test and handed over to appellant for confirmation of malignancy. The commission stated that turning to the charge of medical negligence against Dr R K Pandey, "we came across his twin roles – one where he conducted surgery by opening abdomen of the patient and other relating to her hospitalisation even after he had seen that the patient was suffering from a serious kind of cancer".
The commission observed that surgical notes on record support Dr Pandey’s version that though he opened patient’s abdomen but did not remove malignant bladder. The decision to postpone surgery for removal of gall bladder and stones was an appropriate decision on part of the doctor, ruled the commission. However, the decision to keep patient in hospital until biopsy report was received without providing any treatment for cancer can, by no stretch of reasoning, be approved of, the commission observed further.
"Dr Pandey is a surgeon of long practice at his command and he had verified that ’porta and omentum’ had developed secondaries of cancer, still he kept patient in Saraf hospital itself without either making a reference by sending patient to a cancer hospital or calling a cancer specialist in Saraf Hospital," noted the commission.
The detention of a patient, who had been suffering from cancer, for eight days without treatment, was a serious kind of medical negligence and deficiency in service that can be attributed to Dr Pandey and Saraf Hospital both. They should pay to the appellant a sum of Rs 2 lakh as compensation besides Rs 55,000 as claimed by the appellant in relief column along with interest at 10% per annum with effect from date of filing the complaint until payment is made and Rs 10,000 as litigation costs, said the order of the commission.