Fifty Right to Information (RTI) applications over two years is what helped RP Manchanda (59) to fast-track the investigation to prove that medical negligence killed his 30-year-old daughter. Medical negligence cases routinely take about five years to be resolved.
Manchanda's daughter Nitika had a baby on May 3, 2009 at Max Hospital, Pitampura.
She died two days later within hours of complaining of a severe backache. The cause of death was put down as ‘acute circulatory failure’.
In June 2010, Delhi Medical Council (DMC) declared that there had been no medical negligence. So Manchanda appealed to Medical Council of India (MCI) on August 4 last year.
The retired State Bank of India official filed 20 RTI applications in DMC and MCI to track the case’s progress.
He filed another 20 in Directorate of Health Services to know about the departments concerned from which he can gather relevant information, and another 10 in Delhi Police and hospitals to get the post-mortem report.
“I must have filed some five RTI applications just to get the post-mortem report. The MCI’s acknowledgement came through RTI. And it was through RTI only that I got to know that the MCI had ruled in my favour,” said Manchanda.
The MCI reply dated April 16, 2011 (a copy of which is with HT) holds immediate treating doctors at the hospital guilty of negligence in patient care.
The quantum of punishment will be decided in the meeting scheduled for May 10.
“In the past, even cases from 2003 had been hanging, but now we have standardised the procedure,” said Dr SK Sarin, chairman, governing body, MCI.
In response, Max claimed to not having received any intimation from the MCI about this decision.
“The decision on the said appeal can only be given after hearing both the parties on May 10, 2011. We don't consider it appropriate to comment till the appeal is heard by the MCI,” Max authorities said.