In a landmark decision on a damages suit, the Lahore Consumer Court ordered a doctor to pay 212,267 pounds sterling (Rs 33.963 million) and Rs 13.07m to a man for causing permanent damage to the liver of his new-born daughter in 2007.
The court found Professor Dr Tahir Masood, a former dean of the Children Hospital, guilty of showing criminal negligence while treating Syeda Durr-e-Zahra, daughter of Syed Ali Murtaza, a government official.
The baby, however, survived after liver transplant in the United Kingdom.
The complainant stated in his petition that his daughter was born on May 31, 2007 and examined by Dr Masood in June.
He diagnosed ordinary jaundice and assured the father that the disease would go away within two months. But the condition of the child did not improve and Dr Masood continued to advise expensive pathological tests, Mr Murtaza said.
He stated that the excessive tests of his daughter and ignorance shown by the professor in the treatment led to a permanent damage of the baby’s liver.
He said that he took his baby to the UK for liver transplant and spent 206,625 pounds at the Kings College Hospital in London. The Punjab government provided him 155,000 pounds for the transplant.
Dr Masood contested the allegation but failed to establish his innocence.
The judge, Syed Khurshid Anwar Rizvi, ordered Dr Masood to pay 155,000 pounds to the Punjab government.
He also ordered him to pay the complainant 57,267 pounds as partial cost of the treatment and Rs 13.07m as the cost of travel to the UK, stay there and recurrent medical expenditure of the infant.
He also directed the professor to pay Rs100,000 to Mr Murtaza as litigation charges.
The judge directed the provincial health secretary to ensure recovery of the amount for the government.
He directed the Punjab Healthcare Commission to determine whether medical practice being pursued by Dr Masood posed a threat to the lives of his patients.