Hos­pi­tal mal­prac­tice vic­tim jailed for six months

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Prita Mulya Sari ( born 1977), a bank worker and mother of two, was a pa­tient at Omni In­ter­na­tional Hos­pi­tal in Tangerang, west of Jakarta, from Au­gust 8 to 12, 2008. She was suf­fer­ing from mumps, but a doc­tor mis­di­ag­nosed her ill­ness as dengue fever and gave her the wrong treat­ment. Af­ter re­cov­er­ing at an­other hos­pi­tal, Prita sent a letter of com­plaint to Omni In­ter­na­tional. She was un­sat­is­fied with the re­sponse. On Au­gust 15, she wrote a pri­vate email to her friends, warn­ing them about the doc­tor who mis­di­ag­nosed her and com­plain­ing the hos­pi­tal’s cus­tomer ser­vice di­vi­sion had “no man­ners or ethics”. Her email was re­posted on so­cial me­dia. Omni filed civil and crim­i­nal defama­tion charges against Prita in Septem­ber 2008. She went on trial later that month at Tangerang Dis­trict Court. On May 11, 2009, she lost the civil case and was or­dered to pay dam­ages of Rp312 mil­lion to the hos­pi­tal. She ap­pealed at Ban­ten Dis­trict Court, which re­duced the amount to Rp204 mil­lion. She ap­pealed to the Supreme Court, which over­turned the ver­dict. But she was ar­rested and jailed on May 13, 2009, pend­ing her crim­i­nal li­bel trial. Later placed un­der house ar­rest, she was acquitted in De­cem­ber 2009, but the Supreme Court in June 2011 sen­tenced her to six months in jail. In June 2012, the Supreme Court re­v­ersed its ear­lier ver­dict, ab­solv­ing Prita of any wrong­do­ing. Omni Hos­pi­tal has since dropped the “In­ter­na­tional” from its name. The three judges who convicted Prita are Za­harud­din Utama, Sal­man Luthan and Imam Har­jadi Slamet.

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