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Consumer forum asks doctor to pay Rs 5 lakh for negligence

The Chandigarh Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission has directed Dr S C Pandhi of Pandhi Hospital in Sector 36 to pay a compensation of Rs 5 lakh to Karan Kaushik,a resident of Sector 23,for the wrong treatment given to him.

Written by Express News Service | Chandigarh | Published: July 20, 2011 1:44:21 am

The Chandigarh Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission has directed Dr S C Pandhi of Pandhi Hospital in Sector 36 to pay a compensation of Rs 5 lakh to Karan Kaushik,a resident of Sector 23,for the wrong treatment given to him.

President of the Commission Justice Sham Sunder and Members Neena Sandhu and Jagroop Singh Mahal have also directed the hospital to pay litigation costs of Rs 10,000 to Karan.

In his complaint before the Commission,Karan stated that in February 2008,he approached Pandhi at his hospital for treatment of Bilateral Max Sinusitis. Karan said he needed the treatment as he had applied for conversion of his license of Commercial Pilot issued in the USA to an Indian licence.

Karan also told the doctor that he was declared temporarily unfit class-I after medical assessment on account of Bilateral Max Sinusitis,and was advised to undergo Functional Ensoscopic Sinus Surgery (FESS) by medical experts of the Indian Air Force (IAF) who had checked him.

Karan stated in his complaint that instead of conducting FESS,Dr Pandhi told him that Septoplasty was required.

Karan said that being a layman,he believed that the doctor was giving him the recommended treatment. Karan said the doctor prescribed various medicines/tests on which he spent Rs 15,000 approximately. Pandhi performed Septoplasty on February 15,2008.

However,on February 26,the IAF medical experts told him that due to the wrong operation performed on him,septal perforation had occurred in his nose,and he could be declared permanently unfit for getting an Indian license for commercial pilot. Karan then approached PGI,Chandigarh; Ganga Ram Hospital and Indraprashta Apollo Hospital at New Delhi.

At all these hospitals,he was told that the required surgery of FESS was not done,and despite their best efforts the perforation could not be covered up.

Karan complained in the court that due to the wrong surgery conducted by Pandhi,he was no longer eligible for a commercial pilot’s licence,and his career had suffered a blow.

In his reply,Dr Pandhi stated that he treated Karan after comprehensive medical diagnosis and gave him the best possible treatment. Dr Pandhi also denied that the perforation was caused by their negligence.

However,after considering the case,the Commission observed that Pandhi was negligent in not getting the CT scan conducted on the patient,making a wrong diagnosis and thereafter giving the wrong treatment.

“When the diagnosis was wrong,the treatment obviously would be misplaced. The patient could not recover from ‘Bilateral Max Sinusitis’ because the doctor did not treat him for that disease,and rather treated him for DNS with which he was not suffering. Hence the doctor created another problem for the complainant,putting him out of job for his entire life.

“It was,therefore,gross medical negligence on the part of the doctor and not a mere error of judgement,” noted the Commission.

The Commission further observed that Pandhi claimed to be an ENT surgeon with MS degree. The Commission stated in the judgment that no document has been produced by the doctor to prove these qualifications.

“The mere writing of these qualifications in the prescription slip is not a proof of the same. It therefore shows that Pandhi did not have the skill to treat the patient,but in spite of that he undertook to treat him. It may be due to lack of skill that this doctor could not properly diagnose the problem.

“He did not even know that CT scan would be useful to properly diagnose the problem. It was,therefore,a clear cut case of medical negligence,” said the scathing order issued by the Commission.

The Commission stated that if Septoplasty had not been done by Pandhi,there would not have been septal perforation.

In this manner,due to his negligence,the career of the complainant as a commercial pilot has been permanently sealed.

In this light,the Commission ordered Pandhi to give Karan Rs 5 lakh for the mental harassment and personal damage caused to him.

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