Couple sues doc for Rs 6 million

Manoj Shrestha

Biratnagar, July 26:

A couple from Udayapur, Gaighat, has demanded Rs 6 million as compensation from a doctor saying that the doctor’s negligence was to blame for their child’s disability. Uddhav Sapkota and his wife Durga Sapkota of Udayapur Gaighat-3, has claimed Rs 6 million in compensation from senior paediatrician Dr RP Bichchha of the Koshi Zonal Hospital. The family has demanded Rs 5.3 million for causing the physical handicap in the child, which will remain throughout his life, Rs 5 lakh as damages for mental torture and torment, Rs 1,55,099 and 54 paisa as expenses for buying medicine, Rs 50,000 as transportation cost incurred during the treatment, including 10 per cent interest till the compensation is disbursed. In their compensation demand submitted to the Morang District Administration Office yesterday, the Sapkotas said the doctor claiming the baby boy needed more warmth increased the temperature of the incubator, which caused spinal injury, affected the kidneys and lungs and caused loss of sight in the baby. They have also said their baby was so crippled as a result that he is unable to lie flat on his back.

They have sued Dr Bichchha saying that he acted against the Consumers’ Protection Act-2054, Clause 10 (C) and the damage been caused to their baby because of his carelessness, and have demanded compensation citing Clause 24 of the same Act. CDO Narendra Dahal has said action has been initiated against Dr Bichchha. With assistance from the Pro-Public, the Sapkotas revealed their story at a press conference held in Biratnagar yesterday. The baby, born on January 12, is the Sapkotas’ first child. Some problems were detected three days after birth, and they took him to the Koshi Zonal Hospital in Biratnagar, where he was placed under the care of senior paediatrician Dr Bichchha. On the sixth day of the treatment, they said Dr Bichchha asked them to rush the baby to the BP Koirala Institute of Health Sciences within 45 minutes as the baby had suffered injury on his feet as result of hot water being poured over them. The discharge sheet of the Koshi zonal hospital mentions the baby’s back was burnt and his legs injured, his blood infected and kidneys affected due to the burn.

Surgery of the spinal cord was performed on the baby twice at the BPKIHS, but when nothing more could be done, the baby was referred to the Kanti Bal Hospital in Kathmandu.