After fighting for 15 long years, Dr Kunal, a noted AIDS vaccine researcher at the Children's Hospital and Ohio State University at Columbus, Ohio (US), will be given Rs 5.96 crore by the hospital authorities who earlier had rejected to accept any responsibilities when 36-year-old Anuradha Saha passed away in 1998.
Dr Kunal initially lost his fight as West Bengal Medical Council and the Calcutta High Court dismissed his case against AMRI Hospital. However, he continued his fight for getting justice for his wife, he had moved the apex court which found the hospital and its doctors guilty of medical negligence.
The Supreme Court also had referred the case to the National Consumer Dispute Redressal Commission (NCDRC), which had fixed the compensation amount to Rs 1.7 crore.
The NCDRC asked three Kolkata doctors and the AMRI to share the compensation amount. Dr Kunal, however, claimed that the compensation amount, along with interest since 1998, should be Rs 200 crore and moved the apex court again.
On Thursday, the apex court decided on his plea and enhanced the compensation to Rs. 5.96 crore. Dr Kunal also had formed People for Better Treatment (PBT) to make his crusade into a mass movement and filed cases against three doctors and the AMRI hospital.
Anuradha had suffered an acute pain when the couple had come to Kolkata from US for a holiday in 1998. She was admitted to AMRI. Instead of improving, Anuradha took a turn for the worse after a steroid called Depomedral was given to her.
Later Anuradha was moved to the Breach Candy Hospital in Mumbai, but it was too. Expressing his disappointment with the Kolkata doctors, Dr Kunal was quoted as saying, "When a patient goes to the hospital, he gives himself in the hands of the doctor. Every day we see cases of medical negligence but no doctor is caught."