Court slaps the quack with a hefty fine

  • Posted on: May 11, 2016

Deepesh Kumar, resident of the remote Hoshangabad village, was taken to Dr. Awte, an Ayurvedic doctor, who wrongly diagnosed malaria instead of Japanese Encephalitis. What’s even more shocking is that he kept prescribing allopathic drugs and injections for the treatment of malaria for 15 days, due to which the patient’s health kept deteriorating.

Finally, the patient was taken to a hospital at Indore where it was revealed that Japanese Encephalitis was the real culprit behind his worsening condition, and treatment for same would have to be taken for lifetime. The patient’s mental health deteriorated on account of being prescribed wrong medicine, and the doctor returned the money taken by him for the boy’s treatment, alleged Deepesh’s parents when they approached the National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission, New Delhi.

Dr. Awte had little to say in his defence. He was quick to pass the buck on the pathology centre for providing wrong diagnosis and stated that he simply prescribed medicines and did not take any money. He concluded by adding that the patient did not prove the nexus between his condition and the medicines prescribed by him.

“Instead of touching the heart of the problem, the doctor just skirted it” sharply remarked the Commission. The Commission was irked, to say the least. It clearly specified that as an Ayurvedic doctor, Dr. Awte had no authority to prescribe any Allopathy medicines. “The doctor has got no respect for law and love for justice. It is not understood why did he not charge money from the patient, was he related to them, there was no inkling that his hospital is a charitable hospital. His version in this respect just does not stack up. He is at liberty to give his own Ayurvedic medicine but has no authority to trespass into Allopathy. Whenever an Allopathic medicine is to be given, it must be sanctioned, verified and seconded by an Allopathic doctor. The Allopathic doctor will always take care and will call for all the medical tests. The mere signs of malaria were not enough. The main disease of the patient could not be discovered by this quack. Lastly, time is the most important thing. It is well said that a stitch in time saves nine. He wasted about 15 days in treating the patient, instead he should have asked the patient to go to a treating Allopathy doctor. The possibility of growing this disease for such a long time cannot be ruled out”.

Making these important observations, the Commission ruled Dr. Awte guilty of medical negligence and slapped a fine of INR 3 lacs to be paid to the patient as compensation.

Source: Order pronounced by National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission, New Delhi on 4th March, 2016