This in reference to the recent tragic death of a pregnant woman with unborn twins. We are witnessing allegations, counter-allegations and denial which are, in general, a normal course of action – reaction after a tragic incident. As per the doctor’s statement, first he suggested the TRIHMS or Heema Hospital (doubtful advice) and later referred to the TRIHMS when he came to know about the patient being taken to Heema Hospital (late advice). Needless to say, the avoidable, unnecessary movement due to uncertain advisory and improper medical advice/casual approach to a highly complicated medical emergency led to wastage of critical time, thereby, losing three precious lives.
However, some unanswered questions are arising from denial parties’ statements. The doctor received a call in the morning, while being in Heema Hospital (enough time to take proper decision and advice) but unsure whether the hospital would admit the patient or not (in spite of his presence, he couldn’t confirm the admission of the patient) and eventually the patient was not admitted in Heema Hospital.
The doctor was attending a ‘colleague’s patient’ in Heema Hospital (in lieu of treating the patient who died later on due to lack of timely medical care?). However, the hospital authority/staffers were unaware/not informed of the same (unauthorized practice of the doctor and his colleague?). The hospital also stated that there is no written record of the doctor’s attendance (contradicting the doctor and his colleague’s claim. Also self-conflicting, as the hospital stated the discovery of the doctor’s presence when the doctor received a call from a hospital’s staff). However, the ‘colleague doctor’ confirmed the attendance of the doctor in question (conflicting the hospital’s claim). The hospital management stated, “The gynaecologist of Heema Hospital was out of station on that particular day.” However, two doctors were attending a delivery case in the hospital (self-conflicting statement).
Now it is clear from conflicting and self-conflicting statements/claims of both the hospital and the doctor (and his colleagues) that some facts are being hidden (distortion and destruction of facts) to save ‘their’ own skin. It also confirms medical negligence.
May we ask why the hospital authority/management was unaware/uninformed of the doctor in question when he said he coordinated with the hospital and was attending a delivery/childbirth case in the hospital? Why did the doctor say “if Heema Hospital was ready to admit” when the patient was showing fatal symptoms of severe bleeding and pregnancy complications? Why was a delivery case refused (by both the hospital and the doctor) while a delivery case was being attended at that time (discrimination on economic ground/preferential treatment)? What could be the reasons to deny a patient medical attention?
The high number of maternal deaths in some areas of the world reflects inequalities in access to quality health services and highlights the gap between the rich and the poor (maternal mortality 2019, WHO).
I believe the government will open its eyes to the deteriorating and poor health services in the state (or shall the authority wait for more such deaths?). The recent appointment of doctors, in which many posts were left unfilled due to unavailability of local candidates, indicates that we need to accommodate more non-local candidates as health services cannot be delayed to wait for competent local candidates.
We have been hearing from our grandparents and parents that in the good old days, they had the services of non-local doctors, which were much more efficient, professional and humane (without discrediting hardworking and efficient local doctors and no doubt, we have countable brilliant local doctors too). Their statement/experience has been the same till today, whenever they make comparison. Will the government change the reservation ratio to improve the health services in view of posts going vacant, deteriorating health services and commercialization of health services?
Moreover, the IMA-AP‘s strong support to the doctor in question on the grounds of seniority and reputation is totally immature and unethical. How come the IMA-AP reacted with such a strong support on the very next day of the incident? Has the IMA-AP involved a fast-track analysis/court to verify all facts and statements to defend the doctor? Is this not misuse of an institution? Shall we suspend the services of the judiciary and the police since the IMA-AP is competent enough to make judgment so fast, even before the tears have dried and agony starts?
I appeal to the state government to conduct proper investigation into the matter, so that people do not die like wild animals due to denial of health services. We must rise above tribe, clan, family, relationship and political/union affiliation to deliver justice on such matters.
A concerned Arunachalee