Siloam Hospital faces lawsuit

A patient who was paralyzed following treatment, has filed a malpractice lawsuit against Siloam Hospital in Karawaci, Banten.


The patient, writer AB Susanto filed a civil suit against the hospital at the North Jakarta District Court In the suit, he demanded the hospital pay more than Rp 200 billion (US$21.3 million) for material and immaterial losses.


“It is not the amount that is important in this matter. That’s just a way to teach those who provide public services a lesson,” Didit Wijayanto Wijaya, Susanto’s lawyer, told The Jakarta Post before Tuesday’s hearing.


Didit said this was not the first incident of its kind. “Hospitals often treat patients badly,” he said, referring to the case of Prita Mulyasari and Omni International Hospital, also in Tangerang, Banten.


Prita, was charged with defaming Omni International Hospital after complaining about the hospital’s poor service in emails. She was acquitted by the Tangerang District Court.


Didit said Susanto consulted a neurologist at Siloam Hospital in 2008 because of back pain. After several examinations, the doctor suggested a cement injection treatment to his spinal column.


“After the injection in March, his feet became paralyzed because the injection apparently missed the target and leaked to other parts of his spine,” Didit said.


Moreover, he added, Susanto later found out that the doctor who performed the injection was not the one who initially consulted with him.


“Susanto found this out after he regained consciousness following the procedure. The hospital never informed him about the change [of doctors],” he said.


Didit also mentioned that the hospital refused to hand over Susanto’s medical records. He added that therefore, his client demanded the hospital cover his medical expenses, which have reached Rp 1 billion, and compensate him Rp 30 billion for material losses because he could no longer perform daily activities, and a further Rp 180 billion for immaterial losses.


Najab Khan, Siloam Hospital’s lawyer, said the hospital had conducted the procedure in the proper manner.


“Before being treated [at the hospital] the plaintiff signed an agreement approving the team of doctors that would treat him,” he said.


The hospital filed a countersuit against Susanto on Oct. 8, accusing him of defamation, Khan said.


In Tuesday’s hearing at the North Jakarta District Court, Susanto presented two witnesses to support his lawsuit; Wahyu Rizal, a therapist who treated Susanto following his paralysis and Agus Pambagio, a former executive at the Indonesian Consumer Protection Foundation (YLKI).


Agus cited the 1999 Consumer Protection Law to contend that the hospital had violated the consumer’s rights.


“They did this in two ways. First, by not hand over the patient’s medical records and second, by changing the doctor without getting the patient’s consent,” he said.


He added the hospital was required to cover all the patient’s medical expenses after the incident occurred.












Irawaty Wardany, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | Wed, 02/03/2010 11:45 AM | Jakarta



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