The Telegraph
Monday , January 28 , 2013
Since 1st March, 1999
CIMA Gallary

Rs 3 lakh fine on Tamluk doc for negligence

- Consumer court cracks whip on surgeon after post-operation death of woman

Tamluk, Jan. 27: A consumer court in East Midnapore has fined a Tamluk surgeon Rs 3 lakh on charges of negligence that led to a patient’s death in 2009.

The consumer disputes redressal forum asked surgeon Dipankar Bhattacharya to pay the money as compensation within 45 days to the family of Gita Rani Kuili, whom he had operated on to remove stones in the gall bladder.

“We are of the conclusion that the respondent doctor Dipankar Bhattacharya has committed various acts of omission in the treatment of deceased Gita Rani Kuili at different stages of the operation as well as post-operative treatment of the patient, which tantamount to negligence in rendering medical service,” the January 15 order said.

Gita’s son Rathindranath, a contractual employee with the Sarva Siksha Abhiyan, said that in March 2009, his mother complained of abdominal pain and was taken to Bhattacharya, who advised surgery. “Dipankar Bhattacharya advised an ultrasonogram. After seeing the report, he told me there were stones in her gall bladder and a laparoscopic surgery would have to be done to remove them. I admitted my mother to his nursing home in Tamluk,” he said.

The surgery on Gita Rani was done on May 19, 2009. “The operation took three hours and the surgeon told us that the gall bladder had been removed. He even showed us two stones and said they were taken out of my mother’s gall bladder,” Rathindranath said.

But the judgment said: “After the scan of the abdomen of the patient on May 27, 2009, it was detected that the gall bladder was intact.”

After the surgery, the condition of Gita Rani deteriorated. “We took her to a private hospital in Calcutta on May 26, 2009,” Rathindranath said.

According to him, Bhattacharya had done an open surgery instead of laparoscopy that he had promised earlier.

A doctor in Calcutta said a laparoscopic surgery is “a minimally invasive surgery in which operations in the abdomen are done by making small incisions (0.5 to 1.5cm) and by inserting a small camera. The doctor watches a monitor and coordinates. In an open-surgery he added, the abdomen has to be cut open.

Rathindranath’s lawyer Himangshu Sekhar Samanta said: “While performing the surgery, Bhattacharya had caused injury to the intestines. He did not remove the gall bladder. It was intact with the stones. The surgeon tended to the injury but he was not successful. There was severe infection and she died because of that on June 10.”

Rathindranath had lodged a complaint with the district chief medical officer of health in January 2010. The officer formed a probe team, which gave its report against the surgeon.

Bhattacharya, denied he was at fault. “I faced some problems during the laparoscopic surgery. So, I went for open surgery, but only after taking permission from the patient’s relatives. I had removed the gall bladder. The patient could not withstand the stress of two surgeries in Calcutta. It is not true that the gall bladder was intact. The medical board in Tamluk did not call me to take my version. I will appeal to the state level consumer disputes redressal forum,” he said.