Story no. 1:
Tulika Samaddar, 42, a housewife of a mediocre family, lives in Kolkata—the city of joy, which is also popular to provide satisfactory health system to citizens living in Eastern and North-east India and also a large part of Eastern Uttar Pradesh to Nepal and Bangladesh. But Mrs Samaddar is now not feeling well with her eyes. Mrs Samaddar had been admitted for cornea operation of left eye in a super-speciality hospital. Due to medical negligence she lost her right eye, which wrongly operated throughout surgery.
Story no. 2:
Binita Roy, 55, was a school teacher. She was treated under a well-known doctor and got operation for her appendicitis. After appendicectomy her stomachache began to non-cooperate with her. She went to another surgeon and enjoyed the ache of re-surgery to take out cotton threads of previous operation.
Both are same story and of medical negligence and irresponsibility. Dr Kunal Saha is a victim of it. His life was tattered when Anuradha Saha, his wife died of a disease called TEN on May 28, 1998. But he refused to relinquish. He fought against hospitals, regulatory bodies, influential doctors and the “entire system” to get his voice heard. He did get justice, but after a bitter combat of 15 long years. On Wednesday he has got a cheque of Rs 4.24 crore from AMRI. But the hospital deducted Rs. 1.o6 crore as income tax. He has raised question how can they do it? It is not an income, but a compensation. He would file a contempt case in Supreme Court on Monday, as the entire amount of Rs. 11.5 crore was not paid. He got Rs. 1o crore from AMRI.
Recompense may fuel for research:
The compensation barely covers the expenses that he had to spend fighting the case for 15 years. As a medical practitioner in USA, he has a decent earning. Still, he had to file for bankruptcy in 2011 and foreclose his home. His research in AIDS was spifflicated. The money is not important for him. His quest is to change the medico-legal system that robs people in the name of providing them modern medical facilities. On Tuesday, a Candigarh victim got compensation of Rs. 70 lakhs simply by quoting Anuradha’s case.
People for Better Treatment (PBT):
Now he has launched an NGO, named the People for Better Treatment (PBT) to guide victims’ families. It is not easy to fight against a corporate hospital chain or a rich doctor. It’s impossible for a general Indian citizen. You must have a fat bank balance and proper connections. He has able to afford the expenses, but all can’t. PBT so far has provided support to over 10,000 families. It has branches in five metros. The headquarter is in Kolkata.(beside this he is penning a book on it and has plans to make movie on it.)
Biggest impediment in this long effectual battle:
To fight putridness was most difficult for him. It is very deep-rooted everywhere in India, even in the judiciary. The judgments of the West Bengal Medical council, for instance went against him but MCI (Medical council of India) asked for cancellation of license of Dr. Sukumar Mukherjee. None was ready to find with these senior medicos. Facts were being overlooked. Regulatory agencies are run by people with poor certification. There was no justice for victims of medical negligence when he hoped the situation would meliorate now.
- You need the regulatory bodies to be limpid.
- A single body should hear the complaints of negligence rather than multiple platforms.
- Also, you need more non-medical people on board.
He does’nt hold Sukumer Mukherjee, who wrongfully treated his wife, as the only one responsible for her death. He is a part of a blemished system. In fact, he sympathizes with him. There are scores of other doctors like him in Kolkata who are getting away after killing patients.
(this article is based on public welfare purpose not intended or harm to any person or institutions reputation or brand name)