A case of bad peas in a pod? Or not?

  • Posted on: January 19, 2023

Government doctors must ensure if they are allowed to practice privately or not. But in any case, they must not coerce patients to avail services of a private hospital / nursing home in the capacity of a government-appointed doctor. And definitely not if such a private hospital / nursing home lacks in infrastructure or facilities that the patient may need.

In this case though, all of the aforementioned happened. Thankfully enough, the patient narrowly escaped from a major complication.

A gynaecologist working in a government hospital advised her patient to be admitted in a private nursing home for delivery. A healthy girl was delivered but the patient developed complications soon thereafter.

As fate would have it, she had to be referred to the government hospital as the nursing home lacked in critical care infrastructure. She was eventually diagnosed with jaundice and subsequently referred to another hospital where she recovered after almost fifty days.

The couple sued the gynaecologist and alleged that she forced them to take services of the nursing home.

The doctor, obviously, denied the allegation and stated that the couple insisted on being admitted to the nursing home as they did not have any confidence in the government hospital.

The Commission perhaps would have been bemused by the doctor’s submissions as the prescriptions and medical records clearly went against her. The Commission made following harsh observations, before declaring the doctor negligent:

“The operating doctor is the only choice maker because doctor gave written advice in spite of knowing that this patient was a very critical patient who might need post-operative care. The nursing home didn’t have ICU / CCU and despite knowing very well about it, the doctor allowed patient’s admission”.

“Nowadays there are some doctors and nursing homes who in the guise of doing service to humanity have continued commercial activities and have been extracting money from helpless patients and their family members and do not provide the necessary services”.

Source:Order pronounced by West Bengal State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission on 5th August, 2022.