The apex consumer commission has rejected the plea of a man seeking compensation from a Punjab hospital for alleged negligence while operating on his fractured arm, saying the doctor could not be blamed for it.
The National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (NCDRC), while denying the relief, also observed that there could have been failure on the complainant’s part in following the medical advice.
“It is evident that after the surgery, x-ray was done which showed sufficient fixation of the implant. If the screws or the plates have loosened for some reason after surgery, the doctor who conducted the surgery cannot be blamed. Thus, we do not find any fault with the order of the State Commission allowing the appeal and dismissing the complaint,” an NCDRC bench presided by Ajit Bharihoke said.
The commission relied on the expert doctors’ report in the matter and said “As per the expert committee report, the screws alongwith the plate had already been fixed. However, plates and screws were found to have loosened. There could be many reasons for loosening of screws, namely, some accident or failure on the part of the patient to follow medical advice given by the orthopaedic surgeon at the time of discharge.”
It accepted the observation in the report that “in order to recover, the patient is expected to comply with the advice of the doctor.”
The NCDRC’s order came on the plea of Baljit Singh, a resident of Punjab, alleging that in January 2012, he had underwent a surgery of his fractured right arm which was fixed with screws and plates at a private hospital.
Four months later, he complained of pain in the arm and went to another hospital where he was told he needed a second operation as the arm had not healed.
Aggrieved by this, he moved a district forum against the private hospital and the surgeon who had operated on his arm, seeking a compensation of Rs 50,000. The plea was allowed.
However, the state commission reversed the forum’s order saying the complainant could not prove negligence on part of the hospital. The man then moved the NCDRC.
During the proceedings before the apex commission, the hospital denied the allegations contending that surgery was done with utmost care and the bone was set right with plates and screws, adding that it was possible that complainant’s injury did not heal because he suffered some accident or did not follow the doctor’s instructions.
( Source – PTI )