An aggrieved patient has dragged privately-owned Mwaiwathu Hospital and one of its hired doctors to court, seeking aggravated damages amounting to K20 million due to the hospital and the doctor’s negligence.
Meanwhile, both the hospital and the doctor, Gynaecologist Chisale Mhango are facing another battle on contempt of court for not complying with an Anton Pillar Order the High Court in Blantyre issued to the patient, Tanangachi Veruwa last week to seize all her medical records currently in the hands of the hospital and the doctor.
Veruwa through her lawyer Ambokire Salimu of Salimu & Associates last week filed a lawsuit against the hospital and doctor Mhango following gynaecological complications she developed after undergoing a surgery at the hospital administered by the doctor last year.
According to documents filed at the High Court, Veruwa- married with two children- has a history of miscarriages and during her second child’s pregnancy- last year- she decided to seek a professional help from Mwaiwathu Private Hospital where doctor Mhango performed a cervical cerclage- a placement of stitches in the cervix.
The procedure was to be reversed once Veruwa was about to deliver. And according to documents, the doctor assured her during one of the consultations that the stitches were removed and that she would deliver normally.
However, that was not the case as she was forced to deliver through a caesarean procedure (C-section) since the stitches had blocked the cervix.
The documents reveal that the stitches were later on removed by another gynaecologist at the same Mwaiwathu Private Hospital.
Since then, Veruwa developed gynaecological complications, forcing her to seek other medical assistance. The complications have also put her on the risk of developing cervical cancer.
And in an interview, lawyer Ambokire Salimu told Nyasa Times that his client decided to take legal action after both the hospital and doctor failed to provide convincing response to her demand letter on the issue.
“In fact we wrote them a demand letter, and the hospital said is not concerned. They advised us to go ahead with the case against the doctor, arguing that he works at the hospital as independent consultant and that he has personal insurance and medical council registration,” explained Salimu.
He added that doctor Mhango through his lawyers of Churchill Norris and Foster also denied liability but conceded to have left the stitches on the patient despite an earlier assurance that they were removed.
“They argued that he left the stitches because she might have needed them for her next pregnancy. But all along she had been told the stitches were removed before delivery. It was until another
gynaecologist at the hospital confirmed the stitches were still there and he removed them,” explained Salimu.
Lawyer, Tamando Chokhotho of Churchill Norris and Foster refused to comment on the issue when contacted.
“I don’t have any instructions to talk to the press,” said Chokhotho when contacted about the lawsuit and the contempt of court case.
Salimu said they have sued both the hospital and the doctor since the patient’s contract was with the hospital and not individual doctor, and that the doctor was hired by the hospital and not his client.
Contempt of Court
Aside from fighting the lawsuit on the aggravated damages Veruwa has filed, Mwaiwathu Private Hospital and doctor Mhango have been embroiled in another court battle after they refused to comply with an Anton Pillar Order the High Court issued last week, allowing Veruwa to search and seize, without notice, all her medical records currently in the hands of the hospital and the doctor.
Salimu disclosed that they have since applied for leave for committal- contempt of court proceedings- through which doctor Mhango and the hospital’s administrators might be committed to prison for disobeying an order of the court.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :