Hospital ordered to pay 6.34L for failed knee surgeries

Hospital ordered to pay 6.34L for failed knee surgeries

The consumer court ruled that the patient not only footed a hefty bill but also suffered pain because of doctors' negligence. REPRESENTATIVE PICTURE

On January 29, the First Additional District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum, comprising its president H R Srinivas and member D Suresh, ordered the hospital to refund Rs 3,59,490 along with an interest of 12% per annum plus another Rs 2,75,000 in damages. 

P Vinuthan Kumar, 46, from Chikkabidrakallu, had suffered a knee injury after falling off his motorcycle in 2017. He visited the Sparsh Super Specialty Hospital, Yeshwantpur, where surgery was performed on him. He was billed Rs 1,40,000. But he experienced pain in the knee within 15 days. The doctor told him that the implant had begun to rust and suggested that it be replaced. He was operated upon the second time, with the hospital billing him another Rs 45,000. But there was no let-up in pain as Kumar was readmitted to the hospital and underwent a third surgery. The hospital charged him Rs 1,28,000. 

According to Kumar, his multiple visits to the hospital cost him Rs 3,59,490, which included surgeries, MRI scans, laboratory tests, etc. 

Having lost faith in the hospital, Kumar approached a private hospital in Electronics City where another operation cost him Rs 1,50,000. 

Hearing Kumar’s complaint, the consumer court concurred that he faced the double whammy of footing a hefty bill and suffering pain because of doctors’ negligence. 

The court passed an ex-parte order (the hospital didn’t represent itself), ordering that Kumar be refunded Rs 3,59,490. It also ordered the hospital to pay Rs 2 lakh in damages for medical negligence, Rs 50,000 in transport charges (Kumar had to travel with an attendant) and Rs 25,000 in litigation costs. The court ordered the hospital to pay up within 30 days of the date of the order.

Delayed recovery

Reacting to the order, Dr Prashant Raysad, Director, Operations and Strategy, Sparsh Hospital, said in a statement: “We regret the inconvenience caused to Vinuthan Kumar due to delayed recovery of his medical condition. His treatment was carried out as per the standard clinical protocol. Contrary to the statement of Vinuthan, where he states he got operated at (a) different hospital, the second surgery was also conducted by Sparsh Hospital Healthcity, Hosur Road, under cashless insurance cover and cured his condition. Unfortunately, we could not represent the facts of the case and an ex parte order has been passed. We will appeal to the state consumer forum for justice.”