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Shailee Dogra , Hindustan Times
Chandigarh, October 03, 2013
Failure to treat post-surgery complications has cost SAS Nagar's Ivy Hospital  Rs. 2 lakh, which it would have to pay as compensation to Chandigarh resident for negligence and deficiency in services. The district consumer disputes redressal forum has given the ruling on a petition filed in January by Jai Singh, a resident of Sector 20.

A driver, Singh was admitted to Ivy Hospital on April 30, 2011, and was operated upon for a urinary problem. Following discharge from the hospital, blood started oozing from his urinary tract. He brought the problem to the notice of Ivy's doctors, who conducted another operation on May 19. But severe pain persisted, and Singh got relief only after treatment at the Post-Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER).

"It is clear that during first surgery there was a mistake done which resulted in leakage of urinary tract… and the failure of the hospital in plugging the points of urinary tract causing oozing of blood is a case of negligence… which resulted in serious complications and the complainant had to live with four long months with the problem of blood loss and finally had to get services of PGI," said the forum, in its order dated August 12, whose copy became available to the public only now.

The compensation has to be paid by the managing director of IVY Hospital, Dr Avinash Srivastava, the chief urologist and transplant surgeon and the resident medical officer.

The hospital had denied deficiency and even denied having conducted a second surgery. It blamed the patient for post-surgery complications: "Rather the complainant was provided medicines to plug the bleeding point. It is an act of his own negligence in not obeying the instructions for follow-up or remaining under observation for a longer period in the hospital and, therefore, the complainant cannot take benefit of his own wrongs."But the forum found no merit in the argument.
 
Delay in sending orders: Stamp shortage to blame?

Owing to alleged failure of the Punjab government to provide postage stamps, judgments of the SAS district consumer forum are not being dispatched for the past about four months. This means copies reach late and execution also gets delayed. The stamps are also required to issue summons.

Pankaj Chandgothia, president of the Consumer Courts Bar Association, said, "It is an irony that a forum which has to decide cases within three months is taking so many months to communicate the orders to the parties. Worse, even notices to outstation parties are not being sent."