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SC Issues Notice to MCI and Health Secretaries Across India on Lack of ICU Guidelines: Effects of SLP Filed by a Victim of Medical Negligence Backed by PBT

In a historic judgment delivered by Supreme Court Justices Mr. Dipak Mishra and Mr. U.U. Lalit that may have far-reaching effect on negligent treatment of critically ill patients in intensive care units (ICUs) across India, Apex Court has directed to implead the Medical Council of India (MCI) as well as the central and state governments and issued notice to the MCI, central government and Health Secretaries of all state governments seeking to explore the guidelines, if any, for proper treatment in the ICUs (see TOI news below).

This case involves horrific death of a young woman, Sunanda Mondal, following a caesarean delivery at the Wellness Nursing Home in Kalyani, 40 km from Kolkata, under the care of Dr. Rita Sinha. The patient was left virtually unattended in ICU for three days before shifting her to a super-speciality hospital in Kolkata in a moribund condition where she eventually died from alleged acute liver failure. The devastated middle-class family came to PBT seeking help in the quest for justice. Guided by the PBT, they lodged a case before the National Consumer Court (NCDRC) seeking a compensation of about Rs. 2 crore. PBT founding-president, Dr. Kunal Saha, personally appeared before the NCDRC during his last trip to India in December, 2015 to argue on behalf of the Mondal family. Although NCDRC summoned the accused doctor but refused to grant any time to Dr. Saha to argue the case further since he was not available during next hearing in April, 2016. It is well-known that since its inception of PBT in 2001, Dr. Saha and his organization have been helping countless victims of medical negligence in their search for justice in the most unselfish fashion without ever charging any fee for their service. In fact, Dr. Saha routinely spends lakhs of rupees from his own pocket to travel to India and argue legal cases on behalf of hapless victims of medical negligence.

Unfortunately, NCDRC dismissed Mondal’s case in May, 2016 with a cryptic order without looking into the merit of the case that the patient was left virtually untreated in the ICU following the caesarean delivery. The NCDRC also made unfortunate aspersations about the intent of Dr. Saha to help the Mondal family. Mondal’s family lodged an appeal with the Supreme Court challenging the NCDRC’s judgment and the Apex Court passed this historic order issuing notice not only to the accused doctor but also to the MCI, central and state governments to probe the status of general treatment in ICUs across India. It is a common knowledge that there is no guidelines or scientific basic protocol for treatment in ICUs by doctors in India. Many ill-equipped nursing homes and hospitals take a ride on the vulnerable and critically ill patients by treating them by careless doctors without any repercussions causing untimely death of countless patients. We hope that specific attention on this issue by the Supreme Court would bring much needed changes in our medical system to save lives of the innocent patients across the country.

TOI (Aug 19, 2016)

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • M K Kapur August 20, 2016, 8:32 pm

    I am glad Dr Kunal Saha is fighting so selflessly for the cause of medical negligence in India.

  • Saileswar Chakrabarti August 20, 2016, 10:09 pm

    Congratulation for initial success! The role of NCDRC in not giving just judgement is nothing new but our PBT under the dynamic leadership of Dr. Kunal Saha would continue to pursue to achieve full success. God is with him.

  • Sonia August 21, 2016, 3:44 am

    Well done, PBT and SC ! Let’s hope ALL ICUs across India, including those in Gurgaon (such as the one in Columbia Asia Hospital) actually follow ALL SC’s guidelines. This might help ensure that vulnerable patients pushed into ICUs by hospital authorities (even through wrong diagnosis in the first instance) are not made to suffer mental, physical, emotional and spiritual agony (at the hands of untrained, unskilled, grossly negligent, sadistic and greedy hospital staff) for weeks on end to the point of being driven to the brink of suicide and finally succumbing to that torture, as was the case with my father. I caught ICU staff actually using him as the butt of jokes for their stand-up comedy, instead of feeding him lunch!

    People think it’s only the poor that suffer. Middle classes, despite paying through their noses, to try and get the best medical treatment for themselves or their loved ones, end up getting the WORST. The best off are public servants who avail themselves of the BEST medical treatment available in the country and outside of it – all at the tax payers’ expense ofcourse (majority of tax payers being from the middle class. What irony!). Latest being the example of my VIP namesake.

    I wonder what took the Supreme Court so long to issue these directives. Individuals have been pleading for much the same thing, before the Supreme Court, in their individual capacity. But their appeals seem to have fallen on deaf ears. Well, better late than never. I thought MCI was being replaced. Why should MCI be entrusted with drawing up or issuing guidelines for ICUs?

  • Dr S K Thakur August 22, 2016, 1:14 am

    I am also going to file a SLP in the Hon’ble Supreme Court soon against the order of Hon’ble Kolkata High Court . In my case the three doctors (main accused) and three paramedical staff are already on bail bonds. The judgment of Kolkata High Court is very interesting. Please go through the link provided below. Also keep me posted on the reply of the MCI on ICU guidelines as per the direction of the Apex court. It will help me a lot.
    http://medicaldialogues.us11.list-manage.com/track/click?u=f3f14fd7fb288216d6fab530a&id=8b66a301f2&e=a46fe21243

  • Anil Kumar kedia August 22, 2016, 1:46 am

    dear Sir,
    in kolkata lots of big hospital doing the same things,they treat like commercialisation of treatment.
    regards,
    Anil

  • Ganesh Mandal August 22, 2016, 7:57 am

    Thanks to D

  • Ganesh C Mandal August 22, 2016, 8:11 am

    Thanks to Dr. Kunal . Saha for helping Mandal Family and others who are medically negligence patients for a long time. Hopefully SC and Apex Court will give proper judgment for Mandal family guided by PBT. Dr. Saha must win this case.

  • Paragsinha Gahelot August 27, 2016, 1:07 am

    Great work Dr. Saha!!!

    My family is also a victim of medical negligence. I’ve started a petition “Medical Council of India, Lilavati Hospital: Cancel License, expel Corrupt Nephrologist Hemant Mehta, Prashant Rajput who killed my Mom” on change.org

    Request you to go through the petition and please sign the petition. Here’s the link:

    http://www.change.org/p/medical-council-of-india-lilavati-hospital-cancel-license-expel-corrupt-nephrologist-hemant-mehta-prashant-rajput-who-killed-my-mom

    Thanks!
    Parag

  • Rajeev saxena August 27, 2016, 9:10 pm

    Dear Dr. Kunal Saha ,
    Many congratulations for initial success in this case. PBT is doing great job to expose these hospitals. They are exploiting patients and family. Most of the hospitals dont have expert doctors and they dont have ethics. We are with You Dr Kunal and pray the god for success.

    Reagrds
    Rajeev Saxena
    8744831929

  • R N Srivastava September 4, 2016, 1:06 pm

    Dear Dr Saha
    Pl enlarge the activities to work for improvement in National Character and ethics then only the desired results will come and will be sustained.
    I am prepared to render honorary assistance.Sent a mail last month to know your program for next visit to India.Reply awaited.I have also fought and am fighting a battle against medical negligence,greed and unethical activities in the Healthcare industry.
    Purposely wrote a Book in Hindi “Chikitseeya Balivedi Par Meri Patni” which is being marketed thru Amazon, besides directl sales by the Publisher.May advise how to present a copy to you.That will reveal what me and my Children are fighting for.
    Ravindra Nath Srivastava