Delhi Hospital Fined For Wrongly Transplanting Pacemaker

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New Delhi:  A consumer forum has directed a city hospital to pay over Rs. 7 lakh to a Delhi Police personnel for wrongly transplanting a pacemaker which was not needed, saying it was “against all medical ethics”.

South Delhi District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum bench, presided by Justice NK Goel, asked Rohini-based Saroj Hospital and Heart Institute to pay Rs. 7,24,135 to Ravinder Singh Pawar, then Public Relations Officer at the Delhi Police Headquarters.

“We hold that Opposite Party-2 (hospital) had implanted the AICD (automated implantable cardioverter defibrillator) in the complainant without there being a need to do so, only with a view to earn profits.

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“Not only this, Opposite Party-2 also implanted an unnecessary AICD (which must be a metal in the body of the complainant) which in the facts and circumstances of the case was against all medical ethics,” the forum said, holding the hospital guilty of “unfair trade practice”.

In its order, the forum asked the hospital to reimburse Rs. 5,24,135, spent by Mr Pawar as the medical expense, and also directed it to pay Rs. 2 lakh as compensation to him for causing mental agony and harassment and cost of litigation.

According to the complaint, Mr Pawar, posted as Public Relations Officer at Delhi Police Headquarters, had suffered two heart attacks in 2003 and 2005. In September 2006, he again suffered chest pain and was rushed to the hospital.

An operation was conducted and a permanent pacemaker was installed, citing his serious condition. The hospital charged a bill of Rs. 5,24,135, the complaint said.

Later when he submitted the bills for reimbursement under Central Government Health Scheme, he was informed that the Standing Committee of medical experts did not recommend the implantation and, therefore, the payment was not made to him, it said.

Thereafter, Mr Pawar approached the forum stating that the hospital had advised him wrongly and implanted the pace-maker by creating panic, which amounted to unfair trade practice, cheating and deficiency.

Mr Pawar had sought a direction to the hospital to pay over Rs. 10 lakh compensation.

In its reply, however, the hospital had denied all the allegations levelled against it.