Case Study

CHRONIC ILLNESS & FOLLOW UP AT REFERAL / HIGHER CENTRES

Shambhu Nath Singh v. General Manager, East Central Railway, GM Marg, CONSUMER CASE NO. 2356 OF 2018, decided by the NATIONAL CONSUMER DISPUTES REDRESSAL COMMISSION  NEW DELHI on 04 Jan 2019


FACTS :
According to the Complainant, he was admitted in Divisional Railway Hospital Dhanbad on 18.10.2016, at 7:30 a.m. due to blood vomiting and blood in stool. Thereafter, at about 3:00 p.m., he got unconscious and went into coma, may be due to negligence or bad treatment on the part of the doctors at the Railway Hospital. The Railway Hospital referred the Complainant to B.R. Singh Hospital Sealdah which was approximately 270 km from Dhanbad by road. On his refusal to go to B.R. Singh Hospital, the Opposite Party referred him to PMCH Dhanbad. Complainant’s daughter, however, got him admitted in a private hospital where the Complainant was cured. Thereafter, the Complainant moved to Dehradun and visited AIIMS, Rishikesh after some time due to short term memory problem and difficulty in speech, which he alleges may have been due to negligence on the part of the doctors at the Railway Hospital. The doctors at AIIMS told him that there was no chance to recover his memory. Thereafter, the Complainant filed RTI application with the Railway Authority/Opposite Party to provide him a list of medicines administered by the Railway Hospital and details of the case history, but the same was not provided. After some time, the Opposite Party replied which showed time as 5:20 p.m. on referring doctor signature instead of 7:30 pm. It might have happened because of manipulation of documents. Alleging deficiency on the part of the Opposite Party, the Complainant has filed a Complaint before this Commission under Section 21 of the Consumer Protection Act, 1986, to direct Railway administration to pay Rupee 3 Crore or more as the Hon’ble Commission thinks fit due to loss of earning capacity and medical negligence and mental agony.

FINDINGS:
The Complainant was admitted in Divisional Railway Hospital at Dhanbad on 18.10.2016 at 7:30 AM, as he complained of blood in stool and blood vomiting.He was thereafter shifted to ICU Ward and later referred to Patliputra Medical College Hospital Dhanbad on the same day at 5:30 PM as per request and consent of patient’s daughter. The allegation of the Complainant that there was wrong recording of time is not supported by any evidence. By his own admission, he got cured. He shifted to Dehradun and approached AIIMS, Rishikesh, after lapse of more than six months, due to memory loss and difficulty in speech.

According to the prescription of the doctors at AIIMS Rishikesh, he has Dementia, which is a chronic problem. No record or evidence has been produced to show that the loss of memory and difficulty in speech was in any way related to his treatment at Railway Hospital.

The other averments in his Complaint that he would have started Judicial Service Examination Coaching Centre and his earning capacity would be more than Rs.4 crores, appears to be figment of his imagination.

The Complainant did not follow the advice of the doctors at the Railway Hospital to be treated at a referred hospital and instead got treated at a private hospital. He also admits that he got cured and there was no problem for quite some time. It was only after a lapse of more than 6 months he approached AIIMS Rishikesh for loss of memory and difficulty in speech.

The Complainant does not convince us of any medical negligence on the part of the Railway Authorities and, therefore we do not find any merit in this Consumer Complaint. The Consumer Complaint is dismissed being frivolous.

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