Non-resident Indian doctor Kunal Saha who was awarded a compensation of Rs. 5.96 crore by the Supreme Court of India earlier in the day in a case of medical negligence involving a city hospital welcomed the ruling, saying that it is likely to “increase the value of every human life in the country.”

“The compensation awarded in cases of medical negligence cases are rare and whenever they are awarded, it is token money of about a lakh or two lakhs rupees. The high amount of compensation in this case will act as a deterrent,” Dr. Saha told The Hindu telephone from Ohio, USA. He said his wife was admitted to AMRI Hospitals with a skin allergy and the doctors gave her steroids 20 times more than the maximum permissible dosage which finally led to her death.

“It has been long wait of 15 years since I first moved a court after my wife, Anuradha’s death,” Dr. Saha said adding that the judgement “will send a strong message to all negligent doctors and unscrupulous hospitals.”

However, what is still bothering him is despite his efforts there has been no action against the doctors guilty of medical negligence. “Sukumar Mukherjee, who was one of main doctors found guilty of medical negligence by the courts, is still practising. I had complained to the West Bengal Medical Council but it did not find anything wrong in the case. Moreover, the present government has appointed him as an advisor to the State Health Department,” he said.