Safety first

  • Posted on: March 13, 2020

A hospital is legally responsible for the safety of patents at all times – even when the patient is on a wheelchair! This legal diktat brought one of the reputed hospitals on its knees for not following this most basic tenet of patient safety.

Harsha was operated at the hospital for her spinal ailment, and was following up as an OPD patient for regular checkups.

During one of her visits, she was made to sit in a wheelchair which was pushed inappropriately. The wheelchair fell on its side and with it Harsha fell down too, injuring the recently operated spine!

The hospital was sued for this mishap. But their defense made it look like it was patient’s fault.

It was stated that the patient fell down from the wheelchair due to her own negligence as she did not wear the seatbelt!

Dismissing the defiant statement, the Commission observed that it was hospital’s legal responsibility to provide proper services, including allied services, and to ensure patient’s safety once he / she is in the hospital premises.

Harsha won the case and the hospital was fined more than three lakh rupees.

Source: Order pronounced by Maharashtra State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission on 18th December, 2019.