A first,consumer body orders free lifetime care for Suman

Perhaps for the first time in the history of the country,a consumer court has allowed free lifetime treatment for a victim of medical negligence.

Written by Express News Service | Chandigarh | Published: March 3, 2012 3:14 am

Rs 4 lakh as compensation and Rs 50,000 to be paid as litigation costs to the victim of wrong blood transfusion at GMSH-16

Perhaps for the first time in the history of the country,a consumer court has allowed free lifetime treatment for a victim of medical negligence. In a landmark judgment,the UT Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission has ruled that it is the bounden duty of Government Multi-Speciality Hospital (GMSH),Sector 16,to bear all expenses for future treatment of Suman,who was given wrong blood transfusion in GMSH-16.

President of the Commission Justice (Retd) Sham Sunder and members Neena Sandhu and Jagroop Singh Mahal have directed GMSH-16 and the other three accused to “jointly and severally” pay Rs 4 lakh as compensation to Suman,along with Rs 50,000 as litigation costs.

The accused in the case are GMSH’s lab technician Kirti Sood,intern Dr Navdeep Kaur and house surgeon Dr Manpreet Kaur.

Talking to Chandigarh Newsline on Friday,Suman and her husband Desraj said that Rs 4 lakh is not adequate to compensate them for the loss suffered by them due to the death of their unborn child and major health problems faced by Suman.

The couple have decided to appeal for enhancement of compensation in the National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission,New Delhi.

Suman said she is still suffering from health problems due to wrong blood transfusion. “We are not able to afford the medicines and painkillers. Last week,I had to undergo minor surgery. I am not able to do housework and can manage things only with the help of my nine-year-old daughter,” she said. The couple have three children — a son aged 11,a daughter,and a younger son aged five. Desraj is a daily wager.

Consumer activist and Chandigarh Consumer Courts Bar Association president Pankaj Chandgothia voluntarily took up their case in January 2011,and filed a case in the commission demanding compensation of Rs 98 lakh. Chandgothia said he was moved by Desraj’s statement a few days after the wrong transfusion where Desraj said that he wanted to sell his children,since he had no time to look after them due to his wife’s ordeal.

“The decision of the commission for free lifetime treatment of Suman is appreciated. But compensation of at least Rs 10 lakh should have been granted to the family. If the family wants to appeal for higher compensation,I will continue to help them,” Chandgothia said.

In December 2010,in a case of mistaken identity,Suman was administered a unit of B-positive blood that was meant for the another woman. By the time the mistake was detected,Suman was transfused with the wrong blood group and the feutus died while Suman suffered renal failure.

The court relied on the inquiry report submitted by SDM (South) Chandigarh,who held a magisterial probe and concluded that the hospital staff was guilty of medical negligence in the case.

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