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HindustanTimes Sat,25 Oct 2014

For wrong diagnosis, hospital and technologist to pay Rs. 50K

Shailee Dogra, Hindustan Times  Chandigarh, August 12, 2014
First Published: 11:13 IST(12/8/2014) | Last Updated: 11:17 IST(12/8/2014)

The district consumer disputes redressal forum, Chandigarh, has directed Sector-35 Guru Nanak Multi-specialty (charitable) Hospital to pay Rs. 50,000 as compensation for deficient services to Sukhwinder Kaur, a resident of the same sector. The complainant was handed out a wrong diagnostic report, predicting that the woman could possibly be suffering from some infertility problems.

Alarmed at the report, Kaur went for the test at the Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER), where the report was found to be normal.

The forum has also directed the hospital and its technologist to also pay Rs. 10,000 as cost of litigation.

“There was breach of duty by the technologist of the hospital because he gave a wrong report resulting in mental agony to the complainant and her family members. Such a breach of duty …by an employee of hospital, is per se actionable. Therefore, the hospital and technologist deserve penalty,” ruled the forum, presided over by PL Ahuja in its August 5 order. “Circumstances point towards negligence in discharge of duties and deficiency in service on the part of technologist as well as hospital,” the forum added.

Hospital denies allegations

In their reply, the Guru Nanak Multi-specialty (C) Hospital IMA Complex 35-B, Chandigarh and its technologist denied any deficiency. They sought dismissal of the complaint on account of concealment of the report.

‘Patient is a consumer’

To the hospital’s argument that it was being run by registered charitable society and lab tests and treatment are provided to the needy and poor patients free and at no-cost-no-basis to others, the forum held:  “When the hospital had taken fee for the report (even though on  no-profit-no-loss basis) it goes to show that the complainant hired the services of the hospital for consideration, therefore, she falls within the definition of ‘Consumer’ under the Consumer Protection Act.” 

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