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Medica hospital told to pay Rs 5 lakh for Kolkata woman’s death

The commission also ordered Medica to pay Rs 1 lakh in compensation for refusing to admit a Covid patient in the early days of the pandemic

Subhajoy Roy | Published 23.12.21, 10:01 AM
Medica Superspecialty Hospital.

Medica Superspecialty Hospital.

Wikipedia

A private hospital in the city was on Wednesday asked to pay Rs 5 lakh in compensation to the family of a woman who passed away in the operating theatre in the evening after she was kept waiting for the surgery since the morning.

The chairperson of the West Bengal Clinical Establishment Regulatory Commission said the woman was not given any food from the night before because of the surgery. 

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The woman had underlying medical conditions like diabetes and ‘disturbed sugar levels’. 

The commission found Medica Superspecialty Hospital negligent on many counts and asked it to pay Rs 5 lakh to the woman’s family.

“We have found many deficiencies on the part of the hospital. We have asked Medica to pay Rs 5 lakh as compensation to the family of the woman,” said retired judge Ashim Banerjee, the chairperson of the commission.

“The woman was admitted to the hospital on August 27. She was kept on fast from August 29 night since her surgery was scheduled for the next day. Though she was made ready for the surgery on August 30 morning, she was ultimately taken to the operating theatre in the evening. She collapsed in the OT and died,” said Banerjee.

“We have found the hospital negligent on many counts.”

Banerjee said the surgeon had decided to perform the surgery without consulting the gastroenterologist. Besides, the family was not given any prior counselling, he said. 

A senior official of another private hospital in the city said Medica should have “administered intravenous fluids to the woman when the surgery got delayed”. It was not clear whether Medica administered fluids to the woman.

Komal Dashora, president of Medica Superspeciality Hospital, said they were yet to receive a detailed order.

“The commission has only said we will have to pay Rs 5 lakh but they have not yet published any detailed order citing reasons for the compensation. We can comment only after we go through the detailed order,” he said.

Many Kolkatans have experienced long delays in surgeries.

The CEO of another private hospital said surgeries at times get delayed because doctors get stuck in a previous surgery if there is a sudden complication.

However, he said, surgeries often get delayed because of lack of proper planning by doctors and hospital administrators.

The commission also asked Medica to pay Rs 1 lakh in compensation for refusing to admit a Covid patient in the early days of the pandemic.

The hospital will pay Rs 80,000 to the family of the man and Rs 20,000 to the commission, which “will be used for benevolent purposes”, said Banerjee.

The man was taken to four other hospitals for admission and refused. He finally passed away at a private hospital.

Banerjee said that when the man’s wife needed admission, she, too, was taken to Medica and refused admission.

“The couple had been undergoing treatment for other ailments in Medica. So when they contracted Covid the family took them to Medica first but the hospital refused them admission,” he said.

Last updated on 23.12.21, 10:01 AM
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