Consumer VOICE

Doctor asked to compensate for damaging patient’s eye

Seven years after he lost his eyesight to a cataract surgery gone wrong, Ramesh Dedhia, a resident of Borivli in Mumbai, will get Rs 5 lakh from the eye specialist and the hospital for negligence. Dedhia won the award for the medical negligence perpetrated by Dr Hitesh Chheda of Asian Eye Institute and Laser Center in Borivali East.

Dedhia underwent a cataract surgery in his right eye on 10 October 2009, but the day after, the eye swelled up and started bleeding. On seeing the empty box of the lens used for the surgery, Dedhia’s daughter, a medical professional, saw it had crossed its expiry date two months prior to the surgery. The father and daughter visited BMC-run Bhagwati Hospital and the ophthalmologist there said Dedhia’s eye had been partially damaged because the expired lens had infected his retina.

Dedhia then approached the Mumbai suburban district consumer forum, alleging negligence in performing the surgery and seeking compensation from the eye specialist and the hospital. The bench of forum president MY Mankar and member SR Sanap noted that Dr Chheda had submitted in court a discharge card containing completely different information about the lens, which was unjustifiable.

In the view of the forum, had the doctor accepted the mistake and promised to correct it, the matter would not have reached the stage of filing a consumer complaint. “Being a doctor, the daughter of the complainant could notice the mistake,” said the forum, adding, “A layman possibly would not have noticed it.”

The bench passed the order holding Dr Chedda responsible for mentally traumatising Dedhia and damaging his eye with his careless act.

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VOICE

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