Medical negligence case go for trial

A case of medical negligence in Madang will go to the attention of the Chairmen’s of the PNG Medical Board and the Modilon General Hospital after it was established in court.

The Human rights case filed in 2014 raised serious allegations as to the appalling state of medical facilities at Modilon.

It also raised very serious allegations of medical negligence resulting in death of a patient in 2013.

The National Court in Madang established that there was a case of medical negligence by the hospital, ordering for a trial on assessment of damages to be carried out against a doctor and the state.

On Tuesday 12 August 2013, Margrette Laki brought her daughter Delilah to the accident and emergency department.

She was weak, coughing up blood and had chest pains.  She was a tuberculosis patient.

On duty that day was nursing sister, Martha Slaibot, and Dr Jiuth Gawi.

The deceased was brought to the hospital at 8am. It was claimed she was not attended to by the doctor until 4pm. She passed on at 4:30pm.

Laki claimed her daughter was given inadequate medical care and attention by Dr Jiuth Gawi (listed as the first defendant) in the accident and emergency department at Modilon General Hospital, resulting in her daughter’s death, eight hours after she was brought to the hospital.   

She gave evidence that in an emergency, in the mid-morning, on a week-day, no diagnostic x-rays and no blood could be immediately provided for a critically ill patient with TB symptoms.

These alarming allegations were left unchallenged.

No one from the hospital gave evidence to directly support Dr Gawi’s evidence or to directly rebut Laki’s evidence or to give a clear account of what actually happened.

A trial was conducted in court on who was liable for the death.

A cause of action in negligence and liability was established against Dr Jiuth Gawi and the state.

Justice David Cannings in his assessment over the case said the deceased would not have died but for the negligence of the first defendant.

“Her death was, for the reasons set out earlier, preventable. If she had been given proper treatment she would probably have survived.

“I will ensure that, as a matter of public interest, a copy of this judgment is forwarded to the Chairman of the Papua New Guinea Medical Board, and to the Chairman of the Board of Modilon General Hospital,” Justice Cannings added.

He ordered the case to proceed to a trial on assessment of damages.

Sally Pokiton
Breaking News