HC allows appeal on medical negligence

NEWS SCAN

lawzmagazine.comBombay high court has set aside an order of the Medical Council of India(MCI) which dismissed as time-barred an appeal by a patient in a case of alleged medical negligence against a gynaecologist.

The court noted that MCI, without hearing Shreya Nimonkar, dismissed her appeal on grounds of delay in filing. A bench headed by Justice Abhay Oka has asked MCI to take a relook and decide on condoning the delay in filing the appeal within three months.

Nimonkar’s advocate Pooja Joshi-Deshpande argued that there was delay of just 4 days in filing the appeal as the September 26, 2015 order of the Maharashtra Medical Council was served on her on October 12.

The bench said MCI’s May 10 order “clearly shows that the petitioner was not heard before passing the order.” Also the order records that under Indian Medical (Professional Conduct, Etiquette and Ethics) Regulation, the period of limitation for appeal before it is 60 days and further 60 days is given if there is sufficient cause for delay in filing it.

“The first respondent (MCI) ought to have granted an opportunity to the petitioner to apply for condonation of delay,” said the bench in its March 27 order uploaded two days ago.

Nimonkar’s petition had urged for a medical panel to conduct an inquiry. It stated that she was under Dombivli-based Dr Seema Shanbhag’s treatment for a menstrual disorder and advised hysterectomy, which was performed along with laparoscopic surgeon Dr Ujwal Mahajan. Nimonkar faced post-surgery complications which was diagnosed much later as intra operative ureteric injury to both ureters. A urologist then fitted her with a stent but following more complications, she underwent two surgeries at Sion Hospital where she was fitted with an artificial urinary system.

Her complaint to MMC said both doctors knew during hysterectomy that there was injury to both ureters. MMC dismissed her complaint saying there was no medical negligence.

The bench said since it is remanding the matter to MCI it will not go into the merits of MMC’s order. “If the delay in preferring appeal is condoned, the first respondent (MCI) will have to go into the legality and validity of the said (MMC’s) order,” it added.

PATIENT

Shreya Nimonkar, 44-year-old resident of Dombivli

HISTORY

in November 2009, Nimonkar underwent a hysterectomy in a local nursing home.Her blog mentions she developed severe stomach ache the next day and it was 45 days before her gynaceologist asked to consult an urologist. She then underwent a series of treatment, including a procedure to put stents in her ureters, but the stomach ache continued.

She finally got admitted to civic-run Sion Hospital where she stayed for 50 days and needed ventilator support; doctors said her ureters were damaged and needed to be replaced with a special urinary system made from a portion of her small intestine.

Now, she cannot lift heavy objects, walk fast or run. She has to pass urine every two hours and undergoes a checkup at Sion Hospital every four months.In 2014, she registered a complaint against the doctor at the consumer court and the Maharashtra Medical Council.

She is a part of an NGO called Setu Pratishthan that works for patients like her, along with doctors and health activists.file a case with the local police station. The police will refer the matter to a government-run JJ Hospitalpanel before deciding to file a chargesheet.file a complaint with the Maharashtra Medical Council, which is a state arm of the Medical Council of India, registers allopathic doctors and can cancel or suspend licenses if it finds medical misconduct by any doctor. (Address: 189 A, Anand Complex, Sane Guruji Marg, Chinchpokli, Arthur Road, Mumbai Phone: 022 2301 0668)File a case with the consumer court against the doctor.

As carried in Times of India on 19.5.17

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