Chennai Dec. 1: A consumer court on Monday ordered the Government General Hospital and the state health secretary to pay a compensation of Rs 5 lakh for medical negligence at the hospital, which caused the death of a 14-year-old boy in 2001. According to the complainant, the boy K.Loganathan attended a ‘health check up’ camp jointly organised by his school and the state health department under ‘Varumun Kapom’ scheme in January 2001. He was asked to undergo a surgery for the removal of tonsils in his throat. As per the guidance of the doctors, his father Kothandaraman admitted his son at the General Hospital in the city for surgery.
After the surgery, a postgraduate student under the supervision of the duty doctor gave an injection to Loganathan. When his body turned blue, he was shifted to a separate room and he was declared dead after two hours. Suspecting something fishy about his son's death, Kothandaraman filed a case in the high court in 2002. Through the court proceedings, the post mortem examination report was verified and it was learnt that medical negligence caused Loganathan's death. Seeking compensation for 'deficiency of services', Kothandaraman filed a case in the consumer court on 2005.
After hearing the arguments and verifying the documents, the consumer court ordered payment of compensation for the loss, mental agony and stress suffered by the complainant. The judge said, “The court has ordered the Goverment hospital and the state health secretary to pay a compensation of Rs 5 lakhs within six weeks. Victims should come forward to file cases against medical negligence. The court is ready to take up issues of ‘deficiency of services’ in all forms.” When contacted, Health Secretary V.K.Subburaj said, “When compared to private hospitals, the rate of medical negligence in government hospitals is limited. If any negligence is proved, we will cut the salary and increments of the medical officer concerned.”