Compensation of Rs. 5 lakh awarded for failure of doctors to diagnose foetal anomalies

National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (NCDRC): NCDRC has awarded a compensation of Rs.5 lakh to the wife of Armed Forces personnel, who delivered a girl suffering from deformities which need supervision throughout the life, due to the negligence and deficient services of the doctors of Army Hospital and Base Hospital at Delhi Cantonment. During her pregnancy, the Complainant took treatment and attended to regular check-ups and ultrasound study (USG) at Base Hospital and Army Hospital. Even after transvaginal ultrasound, performed at Army Hospital it was informed to the Complainant that the foetus was well developed. Later, when she suffered pain, she was rushed to Singhal Nursing Home, where doctor performed ultrasound and found fetal anomalies like Spinal Bifida, Meningomyelocele, and hydrocephalus. This was also confirmed at Base Hospital. Later, Complainant delivered a female child with lack of spontaneous movements of lower limbs, lack of anal reflex and open neural tube defect. The attending doctor opined that the child may need a number of surgeries, throughout the life and there are no chances of proper cure. Hence, alleging deficiency in service and for the negligence caused by the doctors at Base Hospital and Army Hospital, Complainant approached District Forum which allowed the complaint and directed Base Hospital and Army Hospital to pay Rs.5 lakh as compensation to the complainant along with Rs.5,000/- as costs. In appeal, State Commission decided in favor of Base Hospital and Army Hospital and dismissed the complaint. After perusal of relevant documents, including the medical record of the Complainant, Commission noted that failure to diagnose the obvious foetal anomalies in 12th, 14th and 21st weeks of gestation by the doctors of Base Hospital and Army Hospital indicate that there was a breach in duty, as the doctors had not exercised their reasonable degree of skill and care. While rendering relief to the Complainant, NCDRC directed Base Hospital and Army Hospital to abide by their undertaking that the child, who was the daughter of a serving Armed Forces personnel, was entitled for free medical care for her entire life along with the required social and infrastructure support, and in addition, to pay Rs.5 lakh compensation and Rs.5,000/- as litigation charges, to the complainant. Alka Srivastava v. Base Hospital, Delhi Cantonment, 2015 SCC OnLine NCDRC 17, decided on 02.07.2015

One comment

  • Applauding the right and generous decision of the Hon'ble NCDRC in not only upholding the Order passed by the District Forum but also for enhancing justice by directing the Respondents to provide free medical care for the entire life of that dear child along with proper social and infrastructure support in addiction to the compensation and the litigation charges awarded. A good precedent to keep all the professionals -doctors, lawyers etc., reminded of the sublime duty cast upon them to be cautious and careful in rendering their services to the consumers who not only hire them but also rely on them in utmost good faith.

Join the discussion

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

nine − three =