Chandigarh govt hospital to pay Rs 10L for improper diagnosis

28 January, 2017

New Delhi: The amputation of a patient's leg due to alleged medical negligence and improper diagnosis by doctors at a Chandigarh government hospital has led the apex consumer commission asking it to pay Rs 10 lakh to his family.

The National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (NCDRC) made the observation while upholding the state commission's order granting the relief to Chandigarh resident Jaswinder Kumar (now deceased), who was operated twice by the accused hospital Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGI) but did not get cured.

"An institution like the PGI is a prestigious institute, known for its reputation in the field of medical care, and it was expected from them that they could have been more vigilant in ensuring that proper diagnosis was made on the patient," the NCDRC said.

It said it was expected from PGI doctors that they could have been careful with the patient, who had to get his right leg amputated as a tumour had spread above his knee due to delayed proper and required clinical diagnosis by them.

The NCDRC also asked the PGI to carry out an internal probe in the case to fix the liability on individual doctors who were found negligent in the discharge of their duties.

The PGI had filed an appeal against the state commission order upholding a district forum's direction to the hospital and its Director to pay the compensation along with Rs 30,000 as cost of litigation.

According to the compliant, the patient had been suffering from swelling and pain in his right foot and had decided to take treatment from the PGI in June 2011.

It said that PGI conducted two operations on his right foot on June 27, 2011 and October 5, 2011, but even after that the pain and the swelling continued.

He then consulted another hospital on November 5, 2011, which discovered a highly malignant tumour and amputated his knee, as the tumour had already spread due to the delayed diagnosis on PGI's part.

The counsel for PGI argued it had acted as per the standard protocol governing the medical condition of the patient and failure to diagnose does not constitute medical negligence on any account.