The hospital is obliged to compensate the negligence even if the treatment is free | Ahmedabad News

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Ahmedabad: The Gujarat State Consumer Disputes Recovery Commission ordered Kesar SAL Hospital to pay Rs 8 lakh to a patient after doctors left a mop in his stomach during surgery.
The hospital claimed that the patient could not be considered a consumer since he was being treated free of charge. The commission rejected the hospital’s argument, stating that not all patients were treated free of charge in the hospital and therefore the patient in question could be considered a consumer.
According to case details, in December 2008, Pravinbhai Sonara from Dholka underwent an operation for appendicitis at the hospital which is now closed.
After the surgery, he continued to experience pain and was also treated for the same for the next several months. However, it wasn’t until he saw another doctor and had another surgery at a different hospital in August 2009 that he discovered the cause of his problem – a mop left in his large intestine.
Sonara filed a complaint with the Ahmedabad District Consumer Dispute Resolution Commission and demanded 15 lakh rupees as compensation. His complaint was dismissed on the grounds that he could not be considered a consumer under the Consumer Protection Act. This, because he was treated free of charge by the hospital which had a provision to treat the needy without charging them since the hospital was attached to a medical faculty.
The patient then went to the state commission where the hospital denied the allegation that its doctors forgot the mop inside Sonara’s body.
The hospital further argued that the postoperative complication of Sonara was due to an infected large appendix and bowel adhesion etc. and it cannot be assumed that the pain in his abdomen was due to the so-called piece of tissue left in his large intestine. The National Consumer Commission refused to accept the argument that the patient cannot be considered a consumer under the trust deed because he was treated free of charge. He said that since the hospital did not treat all patients for free, the patient therefore fell under the definition of consumer.
The commission concluded that this was a case of gross medical negligence on the part of the doctor and that there is direct or indirect liability of the hospital for the negligent act of its employees. Therefore, she ordered, Sonara was entitled to compensation for the expenses he incurred for the second operation to remove the mop from the abdomen, and for the mental and physical anguish he had. suffered in addition to loss of income during treatment.


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