The district consumer disputes redressal forum, Panchkula, awarded Rs. 12 lakh compensation to a couple who had experienced medical negligence by Chakrawarty Nursing Home, Sector 10, here in handling a delivery case.
Prateek Gupta and his wife Shipra, residents of Sector 11, Panchkula, approached the consumer forum in 2011. The couple submitted that on pregnancy of Shipra, they had approached the nursing home in 2008 and gynaecologist of the hospital, Dr Chakrawarty, had claimed that she had all the facilities in the nursing home for proper care of the patient.
On July 27, 2009, the couple met Dr Chakrawarty, and the doctor performed ultrasound on Shipra.
The doctor declared Shipra and the baby fine and called her at about 9pm on the same day asking her to get admitted for delivery.
After admission, Dr Chakrawarty performed ultrasound exam again and advised Shipra to get the test done from outside as there were some problems. The couple went to Mirchias Diagnostics, at Housing Board Chowk, and there the ultrasound report revealed a major disease in Shipra’s foetus.
The couple alleged that despite being under constant supervision (from November of 2008 to July of 2009) of Dr Chakrawarty, she could not detect neural tube defects which the patient had from the beginning. Then, Shipra was referred to Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER), Chandigarh, where doctors told that the baby could not be saved due to the disease.
On August 11, 2009, Shipra delivered a baby girl who died soon after birth. The couple gave a complaint against Dr Chakrawarty to superintendent of police (SP) on August 19, 2009, who further referred the case to the civil surgeon.
A board comprising, Dr Rajiv Kapoor, Dr Renu Bhambuand and Dr Rani Singh, declared no medical negligence on the hospital’s part.
The bench, comprising president Dharam Pal and members Anita Kapoor and Anil Sharma, ruled that the panel only recorded the statements of Prateek Gupta and Dr Chakrawarty and did not go through the treatment record and prescription slips.
The panel was accused of giving the report to assist Dr Chakrawarty in the judgment.
The forum then called for a medical opinion on the issue from PGI where a board of Dr Kushaljit Sodhi, Dr Shalini Gainder, Dr Ravi Kanojia and Dr Shweta Talati ruled that as per ultrasound reports, “the head size was not significantly larger compare to of the normal term baby and therefore, Dr Renu, being an obstetrician, did not picked this up as she never performed an anomaly scan for this patient”. They also ruled that there was no medical negligence.
But the consumer forum was of the view that court was not bound by expert opinion as they were of advisory in nature and it has to differentiate between “expert witness”and “ordinary witness”.
The judgment read, “It is clear that such disease should not have developed in a day or so. The version of the complainants that Dr Chakrawarty failed to explain how the disease occurred all of a sudden but was there from the very beginning appears to be correct.”
It added, “It is clear that so far as the ante natal care checks are concerned even though Dr Chakrawarty was well qualified doctor, she did not exercise the reasonable degree of care and skill that was required in the instant case both in terms of conducting the ante natal checks and the diagnosis thereof. These were basic and necessary tests.”
It ordered Dr Chakrawarty and National Insurance Co Limited, the insurer of the hospital, to pay Rs. 10 lakh to the couple with interest at 9 % since the date of filing of the case and the doctor has to pay an additional Rs. 2 lakh to the couple.