Referring a patient to higher centre is not a negligence.:
We may see a patient referred from one Dr. to another and many a time, patient thinks its a racket and what was the need ? In some cases it may be true… But If a patient is counseled properly before referring to further specialists and if the patient is made aware of the pros and cons of taking/not taking further treatment, which most of Drs. would be doing, then there will be lesser chances of such cases !!!
Nevertheless, you will always find some oddballs everywhere !!
THE NCDRC recently dismissed the complaint (R.P. No.2862/2013, Rudresh V/s. Dr. Srinivas V. & ors., on 02/09/2015) of Medical Negligence against Drs. On relying upon the celebrated judgment of Hon. Supreme Court in Jacob Mathew Vs. State of Punjab & Anr., (2005) 6 SCC 1 wherein it has been observed by the Hon’ble Supreme Court
“a professional may be held liable on one of two findings : either he was not possessed of requisite skill which he professed to have possessed, or, he did not exercise with reasonable competence in given case, the skill which he did possess.”
The facts in nutshell : A 4 year old daughter of the Complainant was suffering from fever, cough and vomiting. She was given an injection in her thigh as a routine method and she developed swelling and pain. As suspected hematoma and swelling, she was referred to the Hospital, where she underwent 2 surgeries which costed Rs.2,00,000/- and further plastic surgery for Rs.50,000/- was advised and hence the complaint for Medical Negligence !!
Dismissing the Complaint, it was observed by the NCDRC after perusing the medical record as well as literature that there was proper treatment for cough, fever and vomiting. The opponent Dr. suspected Dengue fever and also the possibility of bleeding diathesis as patient developed hematoma in the left thigh, hence, his decision to immediately refer the patient to Hospital was the proper and bonafide and referring a patient to higher centre is not negligence.
NCDRC also lastly relied on judgment of Hon’ble Supreme Court. In “ Martin F.D’Souza Vs. Mohd. Ishfaq” AIR 2009 SC 2049” it was observed that, “Simply because a patient has not favorably responded to a treatment given by a doctor or a surgery has failed, the doctor cannot be held straightway liable for medical negligence by applying the doctrine of res ipsa loquitur. No sensible professional would intentionally commit an act or omission which would result in harm or injury to the patient since the professional reputation of the professional would be at stake. A single failure may cost him dear in his lapse”.
Thanks and Regards
Adv. Rohit Erande
You can get a copy of the judgement by clicking on the following link.