Layers Clinic in Kondapur fined Rs 1.05 lakhs for repeating medical tests unnecessarily

Initially, the Layers Clinic staff started with 10 minutes of dandruff treatment

By Sistla Dakshina Murthy  Published on  10 Jun 2024 11:08 AM GMT
Layers Clinic in Kondapur fined Rs 1.05 lakhs for repeating medical tests unnecessarily

Hyderabad: The District Consumer Redressal Commission in Ranga Reddy has directed Layers Clinic to pay Rs 1.05 lakhs as compensation for making a customer undergo multiple rounds of pre-surgery tests unnecessarily.

Case details

The complainant is D Amit (30) a resident of Madhapur here. On February 15 last year, Amit visited the Layers Clinic seeking hair transplantation surgery and skin treatment.

At the clinic, Dr Jyothi and salesperson Dinesh informed Amit that the management was hiring a new Direct Hair Implantation (DHI) surgeon and asked Amit to wait for the surgery.

Preliminary medical treatments proved ineffective

In the meantime, the salesperson forced Amit to pay for the surgery even when the date was fixed for two months later. As per the request by Dinesh, Amit paid the amount as a ‘loan’ beginning with Rs 65,000 which includes payment for hair transplantation, skin treatments of underarms and neck for high pigmentation i.e. laser treatment and chemical skin peeling.

Initially, the Layers Clinic staff started with 10 minutes of dandruff treatment. Amit had to pay for post-care treatments such as shampoos and lotions from his pocket.

Treatment without a doctor’s supervision caused a chemical burn

According to Amit, the clinic performed chemical skin peeling without a doctor’s supervision. The clinic assistant applied the concentrated chemical to Amit’s underarms and neck causing severe discomfort.

Amit said that the assistant continued to apply the chemical even after the burning persisted claiming that it was normal. The burning and pricking continued for three hours after which the skin in those areas became hard, tough, wrinkled and dark.

Amit said these issues continued for a week after which the skin started coming off and left huge dark black patches in his underarms and neck, similar to the appearance of burnt skin.

Amit said, when he confronted the management, Layers accepted that they mishandled the procedure.

DHI doctor insisted on tests at a specific clinic

When the time came for the hair transplant, Amit said he met the DHI doctor at the Layers Kukatpally branch. The doctor asked Amit to undergo a list of pre-surgery profile tests. However, the list was only sent to Amit three weeks after the initial consultation, causing considerable delay.

Amit underwent the tests which included viral tests for HIV etc. However, the doctor did not accept the results and asked Amit to redo the tests at a clinic of their choice. However, Amit visited Medplus and underwent the tests again including the viral test but the doctor refused to acknowledge them too and again insisted Amit visit one of their own clinics only.

Amit was informed by the doctors that he is already on PrEP (Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis) which is a medication approved by WHO and NACO (National AIDS Control Organisation) for preventing HIV. He also expressed his unwillingness to get tested again and again since it is a tiring procedure and he has incurred considerable expenses for the same test twice.

Then Layers paid for the third test on behalf of Amit but the results were no different from the earlier two tests. The doctor refused to acknowledge the third test too and asked for a fourth one. But Amit refused.

The Layers Clinic doctor asked Amit to produce a certificate from his personal physician that he was fit to undergo the hair transplantation but refused to give notice since they did not want to leave any physical evidence. They instead talked to Amit’s doctor over the phone and their entire conversation was recorded by the Layers Clinic manager who was also in conference during the call. Amit had also furnished the guidelines issued by NACO regarding PrEP medication, its usage, administration and effect.

However, the doctors at Layers refused to perform the surgery on Amit citing various reasons.

The second clinic accepted all tests

With no option, Amit was forced to approach New Roots Hair Transplantation Clinic here for his hair transplantation. Surprisingly, the clinic performed the surgery without asking for more tests.

This revealed the malicious intention of the Layers Clinic to extract more money from Amit by insisting on multiple rounds of tests without any care or regard for his health.

Amit then asked the Layers Clinic to refund the amounts. The Layers Clinic initially agreed to close the loan and refund the amount. However, the refund was never done.

With no option left, Amit approached the commission for justice. On August 3, 2023, a legal notice was sent to the Layers Clinic but the clinic never responded.

Based on the evidence, the commission ruled that the clinic was negligent and indulged in unfair trade practices. The commission said that the clinic is liable to compensate Amit by paying Rs 1.05 lakhs as compensation and Rs 5,000 towards litigation costs for ‘deficiency, negligent and unfair trade practices.’

The compensation would involve the costs of undergoing multiple rounds of the same tests while spending huge amounts. The Layer Clinic was also asked to pay Rs 5,000 towards Amit's legal fees.

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