Hospital Cleared of Negligence in Child’s Hand Deformation Case

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Doctors Hospital Sseguku - The court upheld the decision of the Medical and Dental Practitioners Council, stating that the appeal failed. Both parties were ordered to cover their respective costs.
The court upheld the decision of the Medical and Dental Practitioners Council, stating that the appeal failed. Both parties were ordered to cover their respective costs.
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On Monday, September 25, 2023, the court made a decision regarding a case involving a child who claimed negligence by a private hospital during his treatment, resulting in a hand deformation.

Gabriel Emma, a 4-year-old represented by his mother, Emma Aulo, filed an appeal against the Uganda Medical and Dental Practitioners’ Council’s decision on October 22, 2021. The council had previously cleared a medic at Doctor’s Hospital Sseguku Limited of any professional negligence in the treatment of the child.

The court, in dismissing the appeal, ruled that a doctor is not considered negligent if they apply the skills expected of an ordinary competent person with specialized training. The court stated that the standard of care should align with what is reasonably expected from a competent professional in the same field.



Additionally, the judge emphasized that matters related to professional conduct within a specific field should primarily be assessed by colleagues with expertise and a good reputation. Courts should refrain from making judgments on medical personnel unless there are clear and obvious instances of negligence.

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Justice Ssekaana pointed out that the Council’s analysis did not reveal any clinical errors that would amount to negligence. He noted that Dr. Justus Stephen Byarugaba’s opinion was based on hearsay and lacked concrete facts from the medical file.

The court also agreed with the Council’s assessment that any perceived laxity by the hospital’s employees was a potential error rather than negligence when exercising ordinary care.





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