Udupi: The Dakshina Kannada District Consumer Court, in the case (144/2011) filed by Srilatha Hegde against Dr Ashok Kumar Y G alleging medical negligence leading to the death of Mahim Kumar Hegde, has ordered Dr Ashok to pay damages of Rs 15 lakh to Mahim Kumar’s wife, Srilatha Hegde.
Advocate Latha C S Holla, addressing a press meet at the Press Club Udupi on Friday, August 7, said that Srilatha Hegde had moved the Dakshina Kannada District Consumer Court (DKDCC) against Dr Ashok Kumar who was treating her husband Mahim Kumar Hegde. In the complaint filed with the court, Srilatha has alleged that Dr Ashok Kumar was a physician but was also practicing as a Cardiologist and Nephrologist. Mahim Kumar was a close friend of Dr Ashok Kumar and used to seek his medical advice. Dr Ashok, instead of referring Mahim Kumar who was suffering from chest pain to a Cardiologist, treated him for 6 years and prescribed medicines during the course of the treatment. Mahim Kumar was said to have developed severe chest pain on 10 August, 2010 and due to the negligence of Dr Ashok Kumar, who failed to respond on time to the patient, Mahim Kumar was pronounced dead at the Yenepoya Hospital, Mangaluru. Srilatha Hegde alleges that Dr Ashok could have referred Mahim to specialists for further treatment but he neglected Mahim’s crucial medical condition.
Dr Ashok asked Srilatha to admit Mahim to Gandhi Hospital Udupi. He then asked Srilatha to admit Mahim for further treatment in Yenepoya Hospital, Mangaluru while he could have suggested KMC Hospital understanding the critical situation of Mahim. The observations made in the hospital records of Gandhi Hospital clearly show that Mahim was not given proper medical care.
Mahim was sent to Yenepoya hospital, Mangaluru in an ambulance which did not have facilities to handle critical situations. The ambulance which took two hours to reach Yenepoya Hospital worsened Mahim’s situation. Mahim was pronounced dead at the Yenepoya Hospital Mangaluru after being treated for half-an-hour. Srilatha alleges that due to the sheer negligence of Dr Ashok, Mahim lost his life. She also says that after understanding the gravity of the situation if Dr Ashok had referred Mahim to KMC Manipal or any nearby hospital, he would have survived.
The consumer court after analyzing the complaint has directed Dr Ashok to pay Rs 15 lakh towards the medical expenses along with 12% interest from the date of complaint. It has also directed Gandhi Hospital to pay Rs 10,000 as damages to the complainant. Further, Gandhi Hospital and Dr Ashok shall pay Rs 5000 as litigation expenses.
Mahim Kumar Hegde’s wife Srilatha Hegde and brother Shivaprasad Hegde were present in the press meet.