Court clean chit to PGI on negligence

CHANDIGARH: The Punjab and Haryana High Court has given a clean chit to the Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGI) in a case alleging medical negligence after taking note of a report that said infrastructure in terms of equipment space and manpower was under great stress.

Court clean chit to PGI on negligence

editorial@tribune.com

Saurabh Malik
Tribune News Service
Chandigarh, September 18

The Punjab and Haryana High Court has given a clean chit to the Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGI) in a case alleging medical negligence after taking note of a report that said infrastructure in terms of equipment space and manpower was under great stress. Despite the best efforts made by doctors and keeping in view the limited resources, casualties did occur.

The ruling by Justice Tejinder Singh Dhindsa came on a petition filed against the UT and other respondents. The petitioner was seeking directions to the respondent authorities under the PGI to conduct a detailed inquiry into the manner of treatment afforded to her sister.

The Bench was told that the petitioner’s sister died on June 3 last year at the PGI. Her counsel argued that it was a case of medical negligence as the patient was shifted out of the emergency ward to accommodate another patient on doctors’ recommendations. It was contended that requisite medical treatment under such circumstances could not be afforded to the petitioner’s sister. As a result, she expired.

After going through the petition and hearing the petitioner’s counsel at length, Justice Dhindsa asserted there was no merit in the prayer in the considered view of the court. Apparently, the complaint moved by the petitioner in the matter was considered by the Chairman, Public Grievances Redressal Committee, PGI.

A communication by the chairman dated December 12, 2018, had already been handed over to the petitioner. 

Justice Dhindsa added that a perusal of the document revealed that the patient was a known case of retroviral positive. She was admitted to the private ward and had already undergone “Palliative Gastrojejunostomy” on August 3, 2017.

She was admitted to emergency services OPD (ESOPD) having shown symptoms of dehydration, low blood pressure and decreased appetite. “Since she was found to be haemodynamically stable, she was moved outside as the area within the ESOPD was kept for resuscitation of patients requiring immediate care and monitoring”.

Justice Dhindsa added that the chairman refuted in categorical terms that any patient was shifted outside the ESOPD on recommendations. Terming it as false accusation, it was stated that patients were treated on merits as per their illness and symptoms, and not on the strength of recommendations. Even though she was shifted outside the ESOPD, she was monitored on a regular basis. The counsel, in turn, did not dispute that the patient had been suffering for more than a year and had presented herself in the PGI as a terminally-ill patient. 

“In the report, the ground reality in the PGI has also been depicted stating that the ESOPD is overcrowded all the time. The infrastructure in terms of equipment space and manpower is under great stress. Despite the best efforts made by doctors and keeping in view the limited resources casualties do occur. There would be no occasion for this court to disbelieve the contents…,” Justice Dhindsa added, while dismissing the plea.

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