UP-based Shri Mankameshwar Nursing Home, Dr Meena Pandey Asked To Pay over Rs30 Lakh for Medical Negligence, Misrepresentation
Moneylife Digital Team 20 March 2024
Holding Lucknow-based Shri Mankameshwar Nursing Home responsible for medical negligence and homoeopathic doctor Dr Meena Pandey for misrepresenting herself as a gynaecologist, which led to the death of a patient after pregnancy, the Uttar Pradesh state consumer disputes redressal commission asked them to pay over Rs30 lakh to the husband of the patient. 
In an order last week, the state commission bench of Rajendra Singh (presiding member) and Vikas Saxena (judicial member) says, "Dr Pandey misrepresented the patient by showing herself as a gynaecologist and after that, she and Shri Mankameshwar Nursing Home failed to take proper medical care of the patient. They completely failed to provide medical facilities after the delivery. They failed to recognise postpartum haemorrhage (PPH) at the relevant time by which this incident happened...there is medical negligence, and the maxim res ipsa loquitur applies in this case."
"It is clear that there is a total lack of medical protocol in the treatment of the patient and Dr Pandey knowingly deputed herself as a gynaecologist and she advised allopathic medicines. If the complainant would have known that she is not a registered gynaecologist, she would not have come to her nursing home for delivery. So, it is a clear case of medical negligence and deficiency in service. What was the need for a male doctor in the delivery of a patient? It is all manipulated by the opposite parties to attract the patient by misrepresenting the actual facts and degree of the opposite party," the bench says.
Vinay Kumar Mishra from Daligand village in Lucknow district had filed the complaint. His wife Sangita was pregnant and on 15 January 2014, she was admitted to Shri Mankameshwar Nursing Home at 9pm in the night. Dr Meena Pandey told Mr Mishra that she is a gynaecologist and specialist in gynaecology. On 16 January 2014, his wife gave birth to a female child at 9:45am through normal delivery and thereafter, Dr Pandey told him that his wife and child were fine. 
However, after some time, Dr Pandey told Mr Mishra to arrange for blood. He arranged for the blood and reached the hospital, but Dr Pandey told him that his wife was no more. 
Mr Mishra says he was again shocked when he came to know that Dr Pandey had a degree in homoeopathic medicine but prescribed allopathic medicines and treated his wife through allopathic medication.
He alleged that his wife died due to excess bleeding, and Dr Pandey did not take care of her properly because she is a homoeopathic doctor and has no knowledge about allopathic medicines. Mr Mishra also filed a first information report (FIR) in Hasanganj police station at Lucknow.
He also filed a complaint before the medical council. After enquiry, the medical board, set up by the medical council, submitted its report in which it has been stated that Dr Meena Pandey has a homeopathy degree, but she is practising in allopathic and this action of Dr Pandey is medical negligence. 
Mr Mishra also approached the state consumer commission seeking compensation of Rs40 lakh with an interest of 18%pa (per annum), a compensation of Rs5 lakh for mental agony and Rs20,000 as litigation costs from Shri Mankameshwar Nursing Home and Dr Meena Pandey.
Shri Mankameshwar Nursing Home and Dr Pandey denied all the allegations in its written submission. It contended that Mr Mishra's wife was not fit, and in fact, she was bleeding after delivery, which may be seen in the delivery note of the treatment chart. 
Further, they contended that Ms Mishra, the patient, was given treatment by Dr Mahesh Pandey, who has an MBBS and MD degree and is also the husband of Dr Meena. "Mr Mishra's wife expired due to excessive bleeding. Dr Meena neither committed any medical negligence in the treatment of the wife of Mr Mishra nor showed any deficiency of service. The FIR was lodged after a month, mentioning the wrong fact and only to harass us and to grab money. Mr Mishra is guilty of gross misbehaviour, having repeatedly used abusive and filthy language and gave threats to the doctor and staff of Shri Mankameshwar Nursing Home."
After hearing both sides, the state commission noted that it needs to discuss the issue of PPH to understand the case. PPH is severe vaginal bleeding after childbirth and can occur after delivery or up to 12 weeks postpartum. Early detection and prompt treatment can lead to a full recovery, it noted.
The bench observed that the enquiry committee has submitted in its report that her declaration as a gynaecologist by Dr Meena Pandey is not legal. It is also held that Dr Meena Pandey's name was included in the hospital registration application. The enquiry committee recommended issuing a notice to Shri Mankameshwar Nursing Home and the doctor to take necessary action against them. It is also held that the hospital is being run without any renewed registration in spite of the fact that the stay on the renewal registration has been dismissed, so notice should be issued to Shri Mankameshwar Nursing Home to take necessary action.  
The state commission also referred to a judgement from the Supreme Court in Poonam Verma vs Ashwin Patel and Others (1996). In the judgement, the apex court ruled that a doctor holding a diploma in homoeopathic medicine and surgery (DHMS) and registered under the Bombay Homeopathic Practitioners Act caused the death of a patient due to administration of allopathic medicine. The SC held that "the doctor, being not qualified to practice Allopathy, was a quake (quack) or pretender to the medical knowledge and skill as a charlatan and hence guilty of negligence per se."
"The facts being similar in this case, we hold that there is total negligence in treating the deceased patient," the state commission says, adding, "There was total lack of post-delivery treatment in which the opposite parties totally failed to discharge their duties. They were negligent in not providing supportive medical care as per medical protocol to the patient. There is no ultrasound report on the record which can show the internal condition of the uterus and placenta."
"In this case the opposite party did not bother to confirm the PPH at the very beginning because they did not take any sonography picture of the patient. The blood should have been arranged in the very beginning and not at the eleventh hour. It was duty of the opposite parties to inform the patient's attendant in time about the need of any blood or any other medicines which may be necessary in the treatment of the patient but they have taken it very lightly," the bench says.
The UP state consumer commission directed Shri Mankameshwar Nursing Home and Dr Meena Pandey to pay Mr Mishra a compensation of Rs25 lakh with an interest of 12%pa, Rs5 lakh as compensation with 12% interest and Rs20,000 towards litigation costs. 
(Complaint Case No.CC/159/2014 Date: 14 March 2024) 
3 weeks ago
but child delivery can be done by non medical practicener
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