A consumer forum has held Safdarjung Hospital in New Delhi guilty of negligence and directed it to pay a compensation of over Rs 2 lakh to the family of a patient who died as a result of delay in treatment.
"A delay of over five hours to attend to the patients who required immediate treatment undoubtedly amounts to medical negligence," said SL Khanna, President of the District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum.
Swaran Lata, who was taken to Safdarjung Hospital following severe headache and vomiting, was not attended for five-and-a-half hours and had to be moved to another hospital where she died on account of brain hemorrhage.
Rejecting the contention of the Safdarjung Hospital that no liability could be imposed on it if the complainant did not name the attending doctor specifically, the forum said "it would be very difficult for the patient or her attendant to pin-point the doctor who was responsible for not providing proper treatment".
"The overall responsibility is that of the hospital and it is liable for the acts of omission and commission on the part of the doctors under its employment," the south-west District Forum said, adding "it was vicariously liable for such medical negligence".
The consumer body directed the hospital to pay a compensation of Rs 2.05 lakh to Swaran's husband Fakir Chand and three minor children - Ranjana, Anjana and Nitin - within 30 days.
The victim was rushed to Safdarjung Hospital on November 4, 2002, as she complained of acute headache and vomiting.
When doctor on duty did not attend to her, she was moved to Apollo Hospital where she died two days later due to brain hemorrhage.