Hospital not obliged to provide ambulance, rules the court

  • Posted on: April 03, 2018

Prabhakar’s mother suffered severe breathing problems and hence he admitted her to Balram Seva Mandir State General Hospital under the care of Dr. Kharbanda. The patient had to be transferred to SSKM hospital where she unfortunately breathed her last.

Shocked at the sudden death of her beloved mother, Prabhakar approached the State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission, West Bengal blaming Balram Seva Mandir State General Hospital of negligence. It was alleged that Dr. Kharbanda didn’t attend to her mother and hence he decided to transfer her mother to SSKM hospital. What’s more, alleged Prabhakar, is that the hospital didn’t even provide an ambulance to transfer the patient despite advertising in newspaper about its availability for the patients.

The Commission could see through Prabhakar’s ire, but didn’t find any substance in his allegations. It was observed that there was no evidence to prove that the hospital was obliged to provide an ambulance to the patient. The Commission further observed that the advertisement that Prabhakar referred to mentioned availability of ambulance only for admitting serious patients during night time only.

A key lesson for the hospitals from this case is to be crystal clear when they advertise ambulance and other services that they provide to patients.

Source: Order pronounced by State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission, West Bengal on 22nd February, 2018.