Staff Reporter

BANGALORE: The Karnataka State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission has pulled up a private hospital for not obtaining the consent of a patient for surgery and for not maintaining a proper record of the treatment given to him.

The commission has also asked the Government to consider framing guidelines for government and private hospitals on the facilities to be provided to patients.

Commission president Chandrashekaraiah and member M. Shama Bhat criticised the medical treatment given by Dr. B.R. Kappalguddi to Kashinath Mathapati of Bagalkot, leading to his death.

Mr. Mathapati was admitted to the Kappalguddi Nursing Home in Gokak, Belgaum district, with stomach pain on September 16, 1997. He was advised to undergo appendectomy, which was done four days later.

However, Mr. Mathapathi developed complications and was taken to the KLE Society’s Hospital and Medical Research Centre, Belgaum, where he died.

His wife, Laxmibai, filed a petition against both hospitals before the District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum, Belgaum. However, the petition was dismissed.

Ms. Laxmibai then filed an appeal before the Karnataka State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission, which found that the hospital authorities had not obtained Mr. Mathapati’s consent before the surgery.

The consent letter produced by the hospital bore the signature of one Thukaram Bhimmappa Badiger, whom the hospital claimed was Mr. Mathapati’s friend.

Negligence

The commission also found that Dr. Kappalguddi had not conducted the pre-surgery laboratory investigations. The doctor himself admitted that he did not perform haemogram, blood sugar test and other tests.

The commission observed that performing an operation without doing the necessary tests amounted to deficiency in service and “negligence on the part of the doctor”.

The commission also noted that the Gokak hospital had not maintained the records to show the day-to-day treatment given to the patient and directed it to pay Ms. Laxmibai and her children a compensation of Rs. 1 lakh with an interest of six per cent a year, apart from Rs. 5,000 towards other costs. It also directed Ms. Laxmibai to deposit Rs. 75,000 in the name of her children. However, the complaint against KLE Hospital was dismissed.

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