As parents of Rida Shaikh, the first Indian killed by H1N1 virus, plan to sue a Pune hospital for negligence, they will have to be prepared for a long and arduous battle that is sure to test their will and patience.
An army officer won a case of medical negligence in July against a Delhi hospital 11 years after going to court. Lt Colonel (Retired) K.A. Bhandula won Rs 3 lakh in compensation for botched medical tests.
He had sought Rs 75.87 lakh.
“We will challenge it in Supreme Court,” he said, adding, “the hospital treated me like guinea pig”.
Bhandula had gone to Indraprastha Apollo Hospital in 1997 with a nasal condition, which was later diagnosed as cancer, but not by Apollo.
The hospital’s ear, nose and throat centre misplaced his biopsy samples.
The National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission held Apollo, its chairman and senior ENT consultant Dr B.M. Abrol guilty of medical negligence and deficiency in service.
The sample was not preserved properly before testing, and therefore it did not show there was anything wrong with Bhandula.
Worse, the patient was not informed that a second biopsy was needed.
The commission held Dr Abrol guilty of manipulating records to show he did recommend a second biopsy. Dr Abrol denied the allegations.
Bhandula’s condition deteriorated in the meantime.
He went to Nanavati Hospital in Mumbai where he was successfully operated upon.
When contacted for comments on Wednesday, Apollo said Dr Abrol has moved on and that the hospital’s legal cell was looking at the case and was yet to decide whether to challenge it or not.