PANCHKULA: The district consumer disputes redressal forum, Panchkula, has directed three private doctors to pay a compensation of Rs 13.61 lakh to a Sector 26 woman for medical negligence. According to the forum, the doctors did not exercise their degree of care and skill during the pregnancy of the woman leading to physical deformity in the child.
In her complaint to the forum, Seema Rani stated that in 2013 during her pregnancy she felt pain in her abdomen after which she visited Dr Poonam Gupta at Gupta Nursing Home, Sector 16, Panchkula. Dr Poonam advised Seema to get an ultrasound and some other tests done and referred her to Dr Dev Batra of Batra Diagnostic Centre, Sector 5, Panchkula.
Dr Dev Batra gave her reports on December 25, 2013, after which Seema again visited Dr Poonam Gupta, who told Seema that the report was normal and prescribed her some medicines. However, she did not get relief. She visited the doctor four times and paid consultation charges on every visit. Though the reports were labeled as "normal", her pain continued.
According to the complainant, she later visited general hospital, Sector 6, through the civil surgeon where the doctor concerned referred her to Dr Dev Batra for ultrasound and the reports again declared the foetus to be normal. However, there was no improvement in the condition of the patient.
In May 2014, Seema visited government dispensary, Sector 26, through the medical officer and the doctor advised an ultrasound. On May 16, 2015, Seema visited Dr Jyotika Kapoor of Kap's Diagnostic Centre, Sector 4, Panchkula, who also declared her foetus as normal in the report.
On July 26, 2014, Seema was admitted to general hospital in Sector 6 and she gave birth to a physically handicapped child. His two bones (tibia and fibula) were short and his lower limb was not visualized. When she was discharged from the hospital, the doctors on duty said things would be normal with time but there has been no improvement in the condition of the child till now.
All doctors appeared before the forum and the doctors of general hospital, Sector 6, and government dispensary, Sector 26, stated that they had not charged any fee from the patient and had prescribed her calcium and iron tablets. Dr Poonam Gupta and Dr Dev Batra told the forum that the patient was advised ultrasound USG level-II test for detecting congenital anomalies but she did not do despite repeated advice.
However, Dr Kapoor stated to forum that that the complainant came to her for ultrasound only once and she was not under regular treatment/diagnostic with her.
The forum in its observation found that femur bone in the child would not have developed/vanished in a day. It also noticed that Dr Kapoor had done USG on Seema while she is not competent to perform the procedure. It can be done only by a radiologist and she had not placed any documents on record that stated that she was qualified to do the test.
The forum directed Dr Gupta to pay an amount of Rs 2 lakh, Dr Batra Rs 5 lakh and Dr Kapoor and United India Insurance Company, New Delhi, to jointly pay Rs 5 lakh to Seema.
It also directed Dr Gupta, Dr Batra, Dr Kapoor and United India Insurance Company to pay Rs 30,000, Rs 60,000 and Rs 60,000, respectively, as compensation for mental agony and harassment and Rs 11,000 to all four as cost of litigation to Seema.