Madras High Court grants compensation of ₹5 Lakh to a patient quoting “Hospital’s Failure to Transfer Patient to Another Hospital for Appropriate Care Is Negligence”

In a recent instance, the Madras High Court granted a young woman who had to endure three operations because a government hospital took too long to move her to a better facility to compensate her with five lakhs. The matter was between S.Bhanupriya v. The State and others (W.P.No.26460 of 2007) and was presided over by Hon’ble Mr. Justice M. Anand Venkatesh.


In this instance, the mother gave birth to a child after being hospitalized at the hospital run by the respondent. The respondent doctor had to deliver the baby using forceps because there was a last-minute issue that required stitches. But the following day, pus began to ooze from the sutures, and the petitioner had a lot of trouble urinating and defecating. The sutures were removed and replaced after four days. 

However, nothing changed, so the next day Dr. Ilanchezian inspected the petitioner and inserted a catheter to drain the pus. The petitioner was then informed that the doctor will carry out the second procedure. The petitioner’s husband insisted on a discharge since he could see no improvement from the hospital’s perspective. Later, she was taken to a private hospital where she underwent a three-stage operation and spent 15 days in the vascular care centre.

The instant Writ Petition was filed by the mother seeking compensation from the respondents for the physical pain and mental agony undergone by her. 


In this instance, the Hon’ble Court observed that the respondent doctor’s course of action could not be deemed negligent because it was made in the petitioner’s and her unborn child’s best interests. According to professional opinion, the same thing was always a possibility in some cases of forceps delivery, hence the perineal tear that developed as a result of the operation could also not be regarded to be the product of neglect. Therefore, the doctor did not act negligently.

The respondent hospital took a while to resolve the matter, according to the court, which was noted. If the patient’s condition could not be adequately managed in the hospital, the hospital was expected to take quick action to transfer the petitioner to the Coimbatore Medical College. The Court concluded that the hospital was negligent in providing the petitioner with the necessary treatment. Being a government hospital, the hospital was vicariously responsible to pay the petitioner’s damages on behalf of the State. As a result, the court ordered the state to compensate the petitioner.

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