The Gujarat State Consumer Dispute Redressal Commission has ordered KMG General Hospital in Balasinor to pay Rs 11.23 lakh compensation to the kin of a deceased patient for medical negligence. The hospital has been directed to pay compensation with 7.5% interest since 2012.
The hospital staff had removed the left kidney of the patient instead of removing the kidney stone. The patient died within the four-month of surgery.
The consumer court noted that the hospital has direct or vicarious liability for the negligent act of its employee-in this case the operating doctor.
“The employer is responsible not only for his own acts or commission and omission, but also for the negligence of its employees so long as the act occurs within the course and scope of the employment. This liability is according to the principle of ‘respondent superior’ meaning ‘let the master answer’,” noted the consumer court.
The deceased, Devendrabhai Raval from Vanghroli village of Kheda district consulted Dr Shivubhai Patel of KMG General Hospital in Balasinor town after he suffered severe back pain and difficulty passing urine. He was diagnosed with 14mm stone in his kidney in May 2011.
He was advised to choose a better facility for the surgery but he decided to get the treatment from KMG General Hospital only. During Raval’s surgery on September 3, 2011, the family was in shock when the doctor told them the kidney had to be removed citing it to be in the best interest of the patient. With the passage of time, his condition deteriorated and he succumbed to renal complications on January 8, 2012.
In the following case, the consumer court decided whether the insurer will also be liable to compensate in such circumstances or not. The court noted that the hospital had an insurance policy for indoor and outdoor patients, but the insurer was not liable for medical negligence by the treating doctor.