Doctors to pay three lakh for loss of limb

26 November, 2016

BHUBANESWAR:  In a significant order, the Odisha Human Rights Commission (OHRC) has directed the Health and Family Welfare Department to pay a compensation of `3 lakh to a woman who had to lose a hand due to medical negligence at a Community Health Centre in Bhadrak. More importantly, the rights panel has directed that the compensation amount be recovered from three doctors of Agarpada CHC for payment to victim Ranjita Sahu. The three doctors include O&G Specialist Dr MD Padhi, Medicine Specialist Dr BK Rout and Medical Officer incharge Dr PK Rath.

Acting Chairperson of OHRC Justice BK Mishra, in his order said, the action of doctors of Agarpada CHC resulted in violation of human rights of the victim under Section 18 (a) (i) & (e) of the Protection of Human Rights Act, 1993. The Principal Secretary to Government, Health and Family Welfare Department as well as Chief District Medical Officer, Bhadrak have been asked to report compliance of the order within eight weeks. Ranjita, wife of Pradeep Kumar Sahu who hails from Kumarpur village within Soro Police Station limits in Balasore, had undergone laparascopic bilateral tuballigaton operation on January 28, 2014 at the CHC under Dr Padhi's supervision. The surgery was stated to be normal and without any complaint from the patient and she was sent back home.

Two days later, Ranjita was admitted back to the CHC with complaint of pain in her left hand and was kept under treatment of Padhi. Later, Rout examined her. The patient met Medical Officer in-charge Rath on February 1, when it was found out that it was a case of impending gangrene and she was referred to SCB Medical College and Hospital, Cuttack where her hand had to be amputated.

The OHRC Acting Chairperson also took note of the complete mismatch of facts in reports of CDMO, Bhadrak and Medical Officer in-charge of Agarpada CHC. The report of the CDMO stated that after condition of the patient did not improve at the CHC, she was brought to the District Headquarters Hospital before being shifted to SCB. On the other hand, the report of Medical Officer in-charge said Ranjita was sent to SCB after three days of stay at the CHC when threat to her life was perceived.