Saturday, May 11, 2013

Surrey Liberal candidate contests lawsuit, faces regulatory challenge

The two sides in a medical negligence lawsuit disagree on many counts, but the most important fact cannot be disputed. A baby boy was not born to an immigrant from India.

Why it happened and who is to blame (if anyone is to blame) are at issue. Saroj Bala filed a medical negligence lawsuit in late-2010 against four doctors. One of them is the BC Liberal candidate in Surrey-Green Timbers.

Dr. Amrik Singh Tung is looking for a new job in Victoria. He is challenging NDP incumbent Sue Hammell to become the riding's MLA.

Tung was the lead doctor in treating Bala's pregnancy, which ended in tragedy when the fetus was stillborn on May 21, 2009.

Bala claims she was traumatized and sought psychiatric help after the death. Tung claims he followed procedure and denies the allegations.

Below are Bala's statement of claim and the statement of defence by Tung et al.

None of Bala's allegations has been proven in court. 

Here is my story from Business in Vancouver.

Bala separately complained to the College of Physicians and Surgeons of B.C. against Tung. The College concluded that Tung's record-keeping was insufficient and he did not ensure timely transfer to an obstetrician.

Bala was not satisfied. She wanted action against Tung. An appeal to the Health Professions Review Board was successful. It directed on Sept. 14, 2012 that Bala's complaint be sent back to the College for further review.

HPRB panel chair Lori McDowell refers to Tung not by name, but as "Registrant No. 1," in her findings. In considering the autopsy, McDowell wrote that "the only possible contributor to the stillbirth" is chronoamnionitis (fetal membrane inflammation due to bacterial infection).
"No conclusions could be drawn by the existence of gestational diabetes and no other findings were made to explain the stillbirth. There is no definitive cause of death noted. No reference is made to natural causes."
McDowell concluded:
"The disposition concluded that Registrant No. 1 be directed to meet with Registrar staff for a concluding interview to review these criticisms and secure his commitment that he will make changes to improve his record keeping and proactively direct similar patients to receive appropriate care...
"With regard to the complaints against Registrant No. 1 I find that the disposition was not reasonable. I direct that the matter be sent back to the Inquiry Committee for reconsideration with the following directions:
"(1) The Inquiry Committee must provide more information regarding their final directions to Registrant No. 1. In particular, the Inquiry Committee must detail the remedial approach if one was applied, specific education requirements, learning outcomes, follow-up, monitoring if that was required and any other consequence applied in this case.
"(2) The Inquiry Committee must provide information regarding the commitments obtained from Registrant No. 1 to ensure improved record-keeping and continuation of care for future patients."
Tung did not respond to my repeated requests for comment on the lawsuit and regulatory matters.

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