Consumer: Apollo fined Rs. 5 lakh over a man’s death

Apollo Hospitals is one of the providers of premium medical care, charging top rates for their services and in turn providing excellent medical services. This is an expectation that people have when they are admitted to the hospital, so when the hospital screws up somewhere in this care and does harm to the patient, there is a lot of shock. And with an increasing tendency for people to file consumer forum issues when they believe that they have not been treated well, it is becoming more common for even the better hospitals to be pulled up when their services are found wanting (link to article):

The state consumer commission has directed Apollo Hospital to pay Rs 5 lakh compensation to the kin of a patient, who died in the hospital moments after he was brought in. In this case, 31-year-old Pradeep Kumar Saini, a father of two minor kids, was admitted in Apollo Hospital on June 16, 2003 in a drowsy state. After examination, it was found that he had no medical history and his condition was stable. In fact, the family was told that he was to be discharged shortly. At no stage was it indicated that the condition of the patient was deteriorating.

Presiding over the commission, Justice JD Kapoor said that Apollo Hospital was guilty of negligence and deficiency in service for keeping the patient unattended for few hours and not making doctors available for immediate treatment.

This is not a state run hospital where patients sometimes have to wait for doctors to attend to them because of a lot of rush; premium hospitals are supposed to provide the required medical attention as and when required, and their reputations are based on these.

2 comments to Consumer: Apollo fined Rs. 5 lakh over a man’s death

  • rajiv

    A hospital can have only a limited numbers of doctors. A doctor can attend to a limited number of patients. How is he to know which patient is going to deteriorate fastest? And what if the doctor, in attending to Mr. Saini, would have lost some other patient? Doctors are human, and can also make errors. There can even be doctors with incomplete knowledge. No doctor has any personal enmity with any patient so as to deliberately mistreat him. If neglect is any criteria, most of our politicians and bureaucrats as well as other office-bearers need to be sued and convicted. When will we grow up as a nation?
    Even teachers are being sued. Because he/she hit a student or, as I hear, because a child died of asthma in school. Did the parents inform the school of her precarious condition? Why did they send her to school without medicine? Are teachers supposed to be doctors to know how to recognize or treat asthma? Whatever happened to “gurur brahma, gurur vishnu…….”?

  • True. And one believes that society will go the same way, with more cases for more trivial reasons. I remember a recent judgment of the Supreme Court which lamented the increasing trend of filing cases for medical issues, and yet, in another judgment, it also severely criticized the conduct of a hospital for malpractice. How else do you punish somebody who did an action that led to the death or injury of an individual in a situation that was not accidental, but due to a wrong action.

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