Patient Sues Eye Surgeon
An Accra-based eye surgeon, Dr Kweku N. Ghartey of Ghartey Eye Centre, has been sued by his patient who is claiming special and general damages for deceit and non-professional handling of his eyes resulting in total loss of vision in the right eye and low vision in the left eye. The plaintiff, Alhaji Abdunlah Williams, is also seeking an order to recover GH¢4,000 and £5,400, being expenses incurred at the defendant's eye clinic and medical travel allowances, boarding and lodging expenses in London at the Kings College Hospital, as well as any future expenses to be incurred pending the final determination of the matter. Alhaji Williams, who is an auctioneer, is further seeking an order that the professional body of which the defendant is a member set up a panel of specialists to examine the quantum of special damages due him for loss of Vision. The Writ was filed at the Human Rights Division of the High Court, Accra, by Kakraba-Quarshie Law Consult, solicitor for the plaintiff. A statement of claim accompanying the writ said the plaintiff was a well-known auctioneer of many years standing, while the defendant held himself as an experienced eye surgeon operating under the guise and name Ghartey Eye Clinic based in Adabraka, Accra. It said the plaintiff had, sometime in February 2010, reported at the defendant's eye clinic with an unusual redness in his lower left eye which the defendant diagnosed as “bleeding under the retina of his eye” which he stopped with laser treatment at a cost of GH¢1,400. According to the plaintiff, soon after the initial laser treatment in the left eye which resulted in low vision in that eye, he had periodic reviews by the defendant, during which the defendant informed him that the pressure in his right eye was also rising and so the defendant put him on drug therapy for some time. He said the defendant informed him that he needed surgery in his eye because it was crucial to his vision and scheduled plaintiff for same, pending the arrival of a medicine called Mitomycin from the United States of America, with the defendant assuring the plaintiff that if that drug was used in the surgery, it “will sustain the drainage he will create for a very long time and prevent escalation of the pressure”. The plaintiff averred that on March 15, 2010, he was invited, on the instruction of the defendant, by his senior staff member called Auntie Janet, to which invitation he responded on the next day and the defendant informed him that the drug from the USA had arrived so he should report on March 21, 2010 for the surgery which was duly carried out at a cost of GH¢1,300. “Plaintiff contends that both before and after the surgery, the defendant reassured the plaintiff that the drainage he will create in my left eye with the Mitomycin will sustain for a very long time the pressure in my right eye, but contrary to this reassurance, the pressure in plaintiff’s right eye rather escalated a few weeks after the surgery,” the statement said. It said the defendant in an apparent move to redress the rising pressure in the right eye, started massaging the plaintiff’s right eye ball for a couple of days but to no avail. The plaintiff said the defendant admitted that the drainage he had created was inadequate, hence the closure and escalation of the pressure, and, therefore, there was the need for a second surgery at a further cost of GH¢ 1,300 and because defendant warned that plaintiff would lose the vision of his right eye if he refused the operation, plaintiff had no alternative but to concede and had a second surgery carried out, in spite of his protestations against the second charge. According to plaintiff, the defendant thereafter subjected plaintiff's right eye to daily injections for one month and having realised that the situation had rather deteriorated, gave the plaintiff a referral to access further treatment abroad, particularly from a Ghanaian resident in Manchester, United Kingdom, Dr Atuah, who told plaintiff on arrival in the UK that he was an optician and not anophthalmologist, as the plaintiff had been told by the defendant. It said after going through all the troubles, the plaintiff had to undergo another surgery at the Kings College Hospital to remove debris of blood, stain and haphazard stitches in the plaintiff's right eye with yet another Surgery on the left eye to stabilise the pressure. The plaintiff said that after several specialists had attended to him in Kings College, he was finally told that his vision had been damaged beyond repairs as a result of the surgeries he had in Ghana and that he had to travel to London periodically for review, which plaintiff had done on three occasions at huge cost.
Source: Daily Graphic Ghana