District Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission

District Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (DCDRC), Bengaluru: While considering the instant complaint alleging medical negligence by Apollo Hospitals (opposite parties), the Bench of Ramachandra M.S. (President) and H.N. Shrinidi* and Nandini H Kumbhar (Members) dismissed the complaint stating that in the instant case, doctors of Apollo Hospitals provided the treatment as per its diagnosis. The commission, in the absence of necessary party and related documents as evidence, concluded that the chain of events and treatment given by the Apollo Hospitals in the given circumstances, was as per the standard practice adopted under such a situation.

On 19-07-2018 the complainant started experiencing severe abdominal pain and was brought to the hospital. Immediately he was advised to undergo C.T. Scan, ECG, 2D Echo with colour Doppler, X-ray-chest PA, X-ray abdomen erect etc. Thereafter, he was advised hospitalization diagnosed with pancreatic inflation and was treated for Acute Gastritis. It was alleged by the complainant that there was no gastroenterologist to treat him and after two days he was discharged on 21-07-2018 with stable condition, with a bill amount of Rs. 54,604.81/-. After reaching home, the complainant had a recurrence of the same pain on 21-07-2018 and, he re-approached the 2nd OP, who directed him to 3rd OP due to non-availability of facility. As per 2nd OP’s advice, he went to 3rd OP and was again admitted to the hospital of 3rd OP, who again prescribed similar tests as prescribed and done by 2nd OP even though complainant brought all the previous reports, but the treatment in 3rd OP hospital was also not fruitful and he continued to suffer. The complainant alleged that at both the 2nd and 3rd OP hospitals none of the Doctors took good care of him.

However, when the complainant approached the Fortis Hospital on advice of his neighbours, he was asked to undergo Endoscopy which revealed that he was suffering from Antral Gastritis was treated accordingly and is now hale and hearty.

It was argued by the complainant that had a simple endoscopy was conducted by opposite parties then his sufferings would have been avoided as various tests carried out by them were not at all required. Therefore, he contended that the OPs-1 & 2 should refund the amount received along with damages for the deficient services.

The opposite parties contended that at the time of admission, the complainant had Tachycardia with pulse rate of 97 /minute. It is stated that certain first aid injections were administered to control abdominal pain and but there was no relief. The opposite parties further submitted that when the first aid injections failed to control the pain, the doctors probed other probable causes for abdominal pain hence the tests were carried out. The opposite parties argued that adoption of one of the many modes of treatment cannot be medical negligence.

Perusing the facts and contentions raised by the parties, the Commission had to consider that whether the complainant had made any case of medical negligence.

The Commission stated that the treating doctor is the best judge in a case, where multiple options/ tests are available in respect of a particular ailment.

The Commission further pointed out that the complainant did not provide any expert evidence to show that the line of treatment/diagnosis/ tests are not required as contended and that he did not produce any records of treatment at the said hospital as well as its details along with case sheet and the treating Doctor’s statement; furthermore, the complainant did not even make either the treating Doctor as party before the Commission, as burden of proof rests entirely on him.

The Commission also stated that the complainant’s statement that he went to get treated at the Fortis Hospital on suggestion of his neighbours and their treatment completely healed the complainant, cannot be taken on the face of it, as the complainant did not provide any record of his treatment at Fortis Hospital.

The Commission thus concluded that there was no deficiency in service provided by the opposite parties and more-ever, the end result of the complainant becoming free of the abdominal pain may be due to the consorted efforts of OP-2 & 3 as well as the treatment at the Fortis Hospital as put forth by the complainant.

[Salman Khusro v. Apollo Hospitals, CC No. 1646 of 2018, decided on 06-10-2023]

*Order by H.N. Shrinidi (Member)

Advocates who appeared in this case :

For complainant- S.A. Sami, Advocate

For opposite parties- S.V. Joga Rao, Advocate

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