‘Satisfaction certificate’ v/s dissatisfied patient

  • Posted on: March 19, 2020

In this day and age when hospitals and doctors are dragged to court even for a bout of coughing and hiccough, taking a ‘satisfaction certificate’ from patients after discharge could be one practical and positive way to avoid any adverse ruling.

Potharaju was badly bruised in a road accident and visited the hospital where an X-ray was taken that reported fracture neck of left femur and fracture distal end of left radius. A surgery was performed at the hospital, and he was discharged after few days.

For reasons best known only to him, Potharaju visited another hospital where bone grafting was done, but to no avail. His left leg was declared permanently disabled!

He sued the first hospital and vented his anger – albeit his fury was all that he could present.

The Commission observed that there was a gap of three months between the first surgery, which was performed as per standard protocol at the first hospital, and bone grafting done at second one. The patient did not adduce any evidence to explain the reasons for same.

The Commission also observed that the patient did not follow up at the first hospital as advised after the surgery.

Most importantly though, the Commission took cognizance of the fact that Potharaju had issued a satisfaction certificate when he was discharged – and that was enough to dismiss his claims and complain.

A simple and proactive act of taking patient’s feedback helped hospital bolster its case.

Source: Order pronounced by Andhra Pradesh State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission on 14th November, 2019.