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Tuesday, March 5, 2024

Mohali hospital ordered to pay Rs 1.3 lakh for not conducting surgery despite partial payment

Chandigarh’s District Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission has directed a multi-speciality hospital in Mohali to pay Rs 1.34 lakh to a heart patient for not conducting a surgery in spite of his making a partial payment for it.

As per the complaint, Raj Paul was being treated at Chandigarh’s PGIMER for heart disease and required surgery. Since PGI had a long waiting period, he approached Dr Virender Sarwal, who suggested that he get the surgery done at the Shalby Multi-specialty Hospital in Mohali.

Paul submitted before the commission through his counsel that he was admitted to the hospital on February 22, 2021. After various tests were done, an estimate of Rs 4,60,000 was given to Paul for the surgery, which was scheduled for February 26, 2021. All the preparations were made but the hospital refused to conduct the surgery citing Covid norms. As per Paul, the hospital also threatened that he would be locked together with a coronavirus patient and left to die if he did not deposit the charges.

Paul deposited Rs 2,30,000 with the hospital for the surgery, but it allegedly refunded only Rs 1,25,917. He also alleged that owing to negligence on the part of the hospital, he suffered a heart attack in July 2021.

Dr Virender Sarwal, in his reply, denied all the allegations and submitted that Paul was given Rs 1,25,917 back after charging, with his clear understanding, expenses incurred on the investigations, medicines and his hospital stay from February 22 to 28, 2021.

The remaining amount of Rs 1,04,083 was to be adjusted towards the total bill when the surgery was to be done after the second wave of Covid, Dr Sarwal said, adding that Paul was not be charged for any test, medication and hospital stay required before the surgery.

For its part, the hospital submitted that the allegations of negligent, casual and deficient services were baseless, ill-founded and made as an afterthought.

The commission held that by refusing to refund the total amount paid by Paul, the hospital indulged in unfair trade practices and was deficient in rendering service. But it dismissed the complaint against Dr Sarwal, stating that he had used one of the best practices by carrying out the necessary tests and that he was a well-qualified and one of the best practitioners in his area of work.

The commission thus ordered the Shalby Multi-specialty Hospital to refund to the complainant Rs 1,04,083 and pay him Rs 20,000 as compensation and Rs 10,000 as the cost of litigation.

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