NCDRC asks West Bengal hospital, doctor to pay Rs 3.4 lakh for deficiency in service, leading to patient’s death

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Published: June 6, 2019 5:36:59 PM

Apex consumer commission NCDRC has directed a hospital in West Bengal and its doctor to pay Rs 3.4 lakh as compensation to the family of a 15-year old girl, who died due to delay in surgery, saying timely treatment would have increased her chance of survival.

The commission also said the hospital and the doctor knew of the girl’s critical condition but still nothing was done by them, saying it was an act of omission on their part.

Apex consumer commission NCDRC has directed a hospital in West Bengal and its doctor to pay Rs 3.4 lakh as compensation to the family of a 15-year old girl, who died due to delay in surgery, saying timely treatment would have increased her chance of survival. The girl was admitted to the hospital suffering from appendicular perforation and she was advised to seek treatment elsewhere. When her father expressed inability to shift her, the doctor conducted the operation later that night, saying there was no availability of a surgical team earlier.

However, her condition deteriorated further and she was transferred to another hospital with ventilator support accompanied by the surgical team. The girl was declared dead the next day. Observing that timely treatment would have given her a shot at life, the National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission directed Arogya Niketan Nursing Home Village in Paschim Medinipore, West Bengal, to pay Rs 1 lakh and Dr Madhusudan Pal, the treating doctor, to pay Rs 2 lakh to the father of the girl. They were both directed to pay Rs 20,000 each as litigation cost to the father.

The commission also said the hospital and the doctor knew of the girl’s critical condition but still nothing was done by them, saying it was an act of omission on their part. “There was delay of 12 hours which proved fatal to the patient. In our view, non-availability of surgical team was a lame excuse. It was the total neglect which caused further deterioration.

“In the instant case nothing was done by them (doctor and hospital) but they neglected the serious patient who was just lying in the verandah of nursing home. Thus, during emergency it was not reasonable care from them. It was an act of omission on the part of both when they knew that the patient was knocking on the door of death,” NCDRC Presiding member S M Kantikar and member Dinesh Singh said, adding that it amounted to deficiency in service.

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