Fortis doctors fined Rs 23.5 lakh after patient dies
The Karnataka Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission in Bengaluru has asked three doctors of Fortis Hospital to pay a compensation amounting to Rs 23.5 lakh to the family of a woman who died allegedly due to medical negligence.
According to the family, the hospital had conducted a heart surgery on Vidya Prasad in 2010 despite lacking a specialised cardiac care unit, causing her death. Mrs Prasad, 45, was operated on for a slip disc on 11 February 2010, at the Fortis Hospital in Sheshadripuram.
Her husband HNS Prasad says the doctor claimed she was doing fine after the operation. But hours later, he was told that her condition was deteriorating. She died before she could be shifted to a different hospital.
The next year, the family approached the consumer court alleging negligence, after they came to know the hospital lacked a specialised cardiac unit. The family claimed that the pre-operation tests clearly mentioned a cardiac risk, but they were not told. When she developed cardiac complications, the hospital did not even have a pacemaker to install.
The bench comprising commission chairman Justice BS Indrakala and judicial members BS Tadahal and GT Vijayalakshmi asked the hospital to pay the sum of Rs 23.5 lakh within eight weeks, along with 9 per cent interest from the date of filing of the complaint. A litigation cost of Rs 5,000 also has to be paid to the complainant.
Consumer court pulls up ESIC hospitals for lack of facilities
The National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission has pulled up the Employees State Insurance (ESI) Corporation and its hospitals, saying it was “beyond imagination” that this national organisation does not have proper facilities to treat the millions of people who go there for treatment.
The apex commission, headed by presiding member BC Gupta, also allowed a revision petition filed by one A Nageswara Rao, whose wife died in 2007 after being hospitalised in Vijayawada, and directed the ESI Corporation to pay Rs 2 lakh as compensation and Rs 5,000 as litigation cost to him for their “clear-cut deficiency”. The NCDRC thereby set aside the Andhra Pradesh state commission order and said that the ESI hospitals were bound to ensure that their patients did not suffer.
According to the complaint filed in the district consumer forum, Rao, a retired employee and member of the ESIC scheme, had taken his wife to a ESIC hospital on 17 January 2007 as she was suffering from hypertension and heart ailment. She was referred to the Government Medical College hospital in Vijayawada and from there she was discharged a day after. Six days later, she was taken to the same hospital and admitted to the general ward, where she died on 4 February 2007. It was alleged in the complaint that the hospital, which lacked basic monitoring facilities, had even failed to refer her to a super-speciality hospital.
The hospital contended before the district forum that it could not refer a patient for super-speciality treatment without an eligibility letter issued by the ESI Corporation. The NCDRC held that the hospital’s version made it clear that it should have referred the patient to a super-speciality hospital but kept her in their general ward, where they did not even have a cardiology department. “There is, therefore, clear-cut deficiency on the part of the OPs (ESI hospital and ESIC) in the present case, when they had proper diagnosis done from the government hospital, Vijayawada, and still they decided to keep the patient admitted in their own hospital,” the national commission observed.