Doctor’s lawsuit says he was fired after reporting boss’s misdiagnosis

A Winnipeg doctor has filed a lawsuit that says he was wrongfully terminated after reporting concerns that his superior misdiagnosed a patient who later died.

Dr. Pradeep Bhanot was a physician with the Interlake Regional Health Authority when the incident happened in June 2017. 

His statement of claim says he became aware of a “critical incident” where a patient had been misdiagnosed with pneumonia even though x-rays showed fibrosis in the lungs, a condition where lung tissue becomes damaged and scarred. 

Shortly after, Bhanot informed his superior, but the superior didn’t act, the lawsuit says. 

In response to his superior’s inaction and the patient’s ongoing decline, Bhanot says he took his concerns to his superior’s boss but says it wasn’t declared an official critical incident. 

None of the allegations have been proven in court.

Under Manitoba law, “critical incident” means an unintended event that occurs when health services are provided to an individual and result in a consequence to the patient that is serious and undesired, such as death, disability, injury or harm, and does not result from the individual’s underlying health condition or from a risk inherent in providing the health services.

Fired in ‘retaliation’ 

Bhanot says that two months later in August 2017, he was terminated without warning and believes it was in retaliation for reporting his concerns. 

In the statement of claim, Bhanot says he believes the two doctors directed the health authority to fire him to conceal their own misconduct. 

Bhanot says he had a duty to report his concerns under Manitoba’s Health System Governance and Accountability Act because he believed it was a critical incident. Further, he argues that the same legislation prohibits the health authority from retaliating against someone for reporting a critical incident. 

He is suing the health authority and the two doctors who were the subject of his concerns for an unspecified amount of damages, alleging their conduct was “harsh, vindictive, reprehensible and malicious” and that he was fired without cause or prior notice, his statement of claim says. 

While he’s now employed in Winnipeg, he says his annual salary is significantly lower than what he was earning with the Interlake Regional Health Authority. As part of his lawsuit, he’s asking for compensation that makes up the difference. 

A spokesperson for the Interlake Regional Health Authority declined to comment.

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