Mumbai

Bombay Hospital told to pay ₹5 lakh for negligence

After a wait of 10 years, the South Mumbai Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum recently directed the doctors and the Bombay Hospital & Medical Research Centre to grant a compensation of ₹5 lakh to a woman who contracted a life-threatening virus after undergoing a hysterectomy.

In July 2007, Meena Diwakar (53) had a hysterectomy performed at the hospital and in September the same year, she developed symptoms such as itching, fever and yellow eyes. Tests confirmed that she had contracted Hepatitis ‘C’. Her advocate said she contracted the virus due to the hospital’s criminal misconduct in ensuring that there was no contamination from any source.

Ms. Diwakar said basic care was not taken in spite of the high fees charged, when the hospital was chosen because of its reputation in the first place. The hospital, at the time of discharge, had cleared her of any infections. She sought a compensation of ₹19.71 lakh from the respondents.

The hospital’s advocate claimed that since the virus was contracted two months after the surgery, it could not be held liable. He argued that there were no complications post-operation and specific allegations could not be levelled. The patient did not complain of any illness for two months following the procedure, and hence the operation did not cause her condition.

The forum held that Ms. Diwakar suffered from Hepatitis C, and has to take regular drugs and medicines to control it, for which she has to bear the medical expenses. She is suffering from heavy financial loss as well as mental torture and her reputation in society is also badly affected, the forum said. The doctors and the hospital were held guilty of deficiency in service and medical negligence. It said she needs to receive ₹5 lakh as “token compensation for the grave irreversible and irreparable mental agony, life-long restrictions, financial losses, loss of reputation in society and risk to family members caused by gross medical negligence.”

The hospital and doctors were directed to pay ₹10,000 as litigation costs to the family while the hospital has to pay ₹56,000 towards reimbursement of bills.

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Printable version | Sep 19, 2020 10:49:52 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/mumbai/bombay-hospital-told-to-pay-5-lakh-for-negligence/article27120564.ece

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