Patient sues International Hospital Kampala (IHK) for negligence

Patient sues International Hospital Kampala (IHK) for negligence
International Hospital Kampala (IHK)

Kampala, Uganda | URN | Munira Jivraj, an Indian national has sued International Hospital Kampala (IHK) seeking to recover more than Shs 77 million arising from alleged negligence.

Munira has filed his suit before the Civil Division of the High court through her lawyers of Verma Jivram and Associates against IHK and Dr Edrisa Mwaka, a medical consultant at the hospital.

She contends that in January 2018, Dr Mwaka carried out a surgical reconstruction on her right elbow after she fell off the staircase and sustained a comminuted fracture. This is where a bone breaks into more than two fragments.

According to Munira, the reconstruction surgery wasn’t successful as one of the screws that were being used by Dr Mwaka during the surgical reconstruction penetrated the bone and broke through the cortex, the outer most part of the elbow.

She contends that a second surgery was performed by the same doctor, a day after and she was discharged on January 7, 2018, despite complaining about pain in the right elbow since the injury hadn’t been corrected.

Munira alleges that she was later forced to seek further medication from other medical facilities, which revealed that she had suffered post-operative supracondylar fracture (pain resulting from the fracture), post-traumatic arthritis of the elbow with clinical expressions of deformity and restricted range of motion.

“The radiographs and CT scan have shown deformity of the distal humerus with non–union, and loss of articular joint space causing permanent injury and incapacity,” reads the petition in part.

Munira says she later sought treatment abroad in India from Kokilabem Dhirubhai Ambani hospital and Medical Research Institute, where she incurred extra costs including hospital bills, operation costs, air travel tickets, visas and proper evaluation and management.

She is now seeking to recover Shs 77.8 million as special damages arising from failure to take proper precautions to avoid the screws used in the operation from penetrating the bone and breaking the cortex.

According to the breakdown, Munira says she spent Shs 500,000 at St Francis Nsambya hospital for a CT scan, Shs 4 million at CORSU Rehabilitation hospital for diagnosis, investigation and pain management in her right elbow.

While in India, Munira alleges that she spent Shs 45.3 million, Shs 18 million for air travel visas, hotel accommodation for her and her helpers.

She also reportedly spent Shs 10 million on other operation costs and miscellaneous expenditures as a result of the negligence. Court has summoned IHK to file its defense within fifteen days before the case is allocated to a judge for a hearing.

Read Also: IHK faces legal action over journalist Nambaziira’s death

Dr Michael Oling, the director of Medical Services at IHK couldn’t be reached for a comment as he couldn’t pick nor return calls from our reporter. This is not the first time IHK is being sued for negligence. In June 2019, Doreen Akoth sued the hospital for damaging her rectum during childbirth and sought compensation of more than Shs 10 million.

The suits come at the time when the Uganda Medical and Dental Practitioners Council is yet to give its verdict in another negligence case against IHK for the death of former WBS TV journalist, Nulait Nambaziira resulting from childbirth complications in 2018.