The Telegraph
Saturday , September 29 , 2012
Since 1st March, 1999
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Rs 10-lakh fine for doc ‘negligence’
- Consumer forum asks nursing home to pay amount for wrong treatment

Chinsurah, Sept. 28: The Hooghly consumer forum today ordered a doctor and a private nursing home to pay Rs 10.10 lakh to a woman for “medical negligence”.

Justice Narayan Chandra Chakraborty said Kakali Mukherjee would get Rs 10 lakh as “compensation for the mental agony she suffered and the expenses borne for wrong treatment” in 2008. The Bhatpara homemaker would also get Rs 10,000 as damages for the money spent on the case, he added.

“The money should be borne jointly by the doctor who had conducted a wrong surgery and the authorities of the nursing home where she had been admitted. The money has to be paid to the lady within a month,” Chakraborty said in his judgment.

The judge added that the doctor and the nursing home authorities were free to move the state consumer disputes redressal forum within a month.

According to the case diary available with the Hooghly consumer forum, a pregnant Kakali was admitted to Gnyendra Memorial Child Health Care under Nirmalya Bhattacharya on August 14, 2008. After she gave birth to a girl in the evening, the authorities and the doctor asked her husband, a supplier of construction materials, to shift her to some other hospital with an ICU.

“I rushed her to Burdwan Medical College Hospital the next morning. Doctors there told me the previous treatment and operation were wrong. They also said she needed another surgery,” husband Ranjit Mukherjee said.

On August 17, Kakali was referred to a private hospital in Calcutta. She was released about a month later after a surgery.

The Mukherjees moved the consumer court against the doctor and the private hospital authorities on June 11, 2009.

Lack of information on consumer redressal led to the couple’s 10-month delay in moving the forum. “We learnt from some village elders that our case could be heard at a consumer court. We were not sure that we would get justice in this case,” Ranjit said.

Kakali said the couple had to pay a “hefty price” for no fault of theirs. “It still pains to think how my husband had to take me from one hospital to another for a treatment carried out wrongly by Nirmalya Bhattacharya.”

The duo said they were happy “they got justice”. “We will spend the money for the education of my daughter, who is now four years old,” Kakali said.

Swapan Banerjee, the president of the Dhaniakhali Lions Club that runs the Gnyendra Memorial Child Health Care, said: “We are yet to receive a copy of the judgment.”