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Victim of medical negligence could get 'very good' compensation if...

A driver who was left with severe burns after a routine appendicitis surgery has been advised to sue the Ridge hospital in Accra for medical negligence.

A medical law expert, Yaw Owusu Dapaah, said the hospital would need a "very convincing explanation in medicine" to persuade a judge not to award compensation for the victim.

"If someone was not negligent, it would not result in the injuries", he told Joy FM's Super Morning Show Thursday.

The 28-year old driver has told a harrowing story of neglect by the hospital after a machine malfunction caused burns from his waist to his right thigh and down his buttocks.

He said he had to foot the bill for treating injuries caused by the hospital and complained of neglect by nurses who had to dress his wounds every three days.

"I had to chase the nurses to come and do the dressing", he said, adding he was on several occasions resigned to lying in 'smelly' conditions because of delayed care.

Driver with burns

Photo: Ernest Oppong

He paid for his transportation to the hospital and was finally discharged in February without a penny to take a taxi home.

The former Heavy Duty truck driver said although he is not fully recovered, he is compelled to work as an Uber driver to cater for himself.

The Ridge hospital after the story broke on Joy FM's Super Morning Show Wednesday has contacted the victim's father to refund the cost of treatment.

Explaining additional remedies available to the victim, Yaw Owusu Dapaah said any court would be disposed to giving him "a very good compensation" if he sued.

He said the victim must establish three conditions for compensation - that the hospital owed him a duty of care, that this care was breached and this consequently led to his burns and further hospitalisation.

"The matter speaks for itself", the lawyer said and branded the incident a "straightforward" case of medical negligence.

He said appendicitis is a very routine procedure which any "average" medical practitioner should be able to perform with little risk.

"I doubt if it will be very easy for the hospital to get away with this in court', he said.

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