Doctor fined Rs.4 lakh for negligence

New Delhi, Dec 29: The National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (NCDRC) has held a doctor guilty of medical negligence and directed him to pay Rs.4 lakh to a man who lost his hand due to his treatment.

The national commission was hearing a revision petition filed by a Bihar resident, Jai Prakash Mehta, challenging an order of the Bihar State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission, which dismissed his plea for compensation.

NCDRC president D.K. Jain and members Vineeta Rai and Vinay Kumar last week set aside the order of the Bihar state commission saying that it had erroneously concluded that there was no medical negligence.

Mehta sustained serious burn injuries on his right arm after he got an electric shock while working on a railway line as a contract labourer June 26, 1998.

He was under medical treatment from an ENT (ear, nose and throat) specialist B.N. Rai in Rohtas, Bihar for over two weeks.

Later, he was referred to the Institute of Medical Sciences and S.S. Hospital, Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi, where he was informed that gangrene had set in, which could not be reversed and his arm had to be amputated.

The NCDRC held Rai guilty of medical negligence and observed that the doctor being an ENT specialist did not prima facie possess the medical skills to treat a serious burn injury.

“He did not adopt the practice in respect of diagnosis and treatment in the case, which would be adopted by a doctor of ordinary skill in accordance with at least one of the responsible bodies of opinion of professional practitioners in the field, since he gave only first aid treatment which was totally inadequate and ineffective for injuries caused by serious burns,” the national commission said in the order.

IANS