| Aruna Memorial Hospital. Picture by UB Photos |
Guwahati, March 2: The Assam Human Rights Commission has recommended punitive action against a leading gynaecologist in the city for apathy and a compensation of Rs 10 lakh to the kin of a woman who died following C-section complications nearly three years ago.
The panel also asked Dispur to take action against doctors of government hospitals who are promoting private nursing homes for commercial gains, jeopardising the interest of patients.
The order, signed by chairperson Justice Aftab H. Saikia and member J.P. Chaliha, was passed yesterday in connection with a case registered on the basis of a complaint lodged by a resident of the city’s Panjabari area, Souvik Shome, blaming medical negligence for the death of his wife after childbirth.
In his complaint, Shome had said his wife, Diya Roy, who was pregnant, had consulted the professor of gynaecology at Gauhati Medical College and Hospital (GMCH) Gokul Chandra Das.
According to him, on June 23, 2009, Das advised the complainant to admit his wife to a private nursing home — Aruna Memorial Hospital on Rajgarh Road in Bhangagarh for an operation.
Accordingly, she was admitted to the nursing home on June 24 and underwent a C-section next day and gave birth to a baby girl.
Around noon of June 25, the complainant was advised to shift his wife to another nursing home, Nemcare Hospital, after her condition started deteriorating. The patient passed away at 7.45pm on June 25 at the hospital.
Shome lodged a complaint with the rights panel, alleging that his wife was healthy when she was admitted to Aruna Memorial Hospital.
According to him, she died because of negligence, indifference and apathy of the doctors under whose care she had been. The condition of his wife deteriorated after she was given spinal anaesthesia, he added.
Acting on the complaint, the commission on November 13, 2009, asked the director of health services to conduct an inquiry and submit a report.
After exaiming the inquiry report, the rights panel found that Aruna Memorial does not have basic life-saving facility such as an ICU.
The commission was of the view that as a doctor of a government hospital, Gokul Chandra Das, should not have admitted his patient to a private nursing home that does not have an ICU, thus putting the life of his patient at risk.
It also found the doctor seemed to have been driven by commercial motive. “His action smacks of total lack of loyalty and allegiance to the GMCH in which he is attached in a responsible position,” the order said.
The commission, hence, recommended the state government to take punitive action against Das and pay a compensation of Rs 10 lakh to the family of the deceased.
“The commission recommends to the Assam government to lay sound and effective guidelines to govern the conduct of doctors serving in government hospitals so that no government doctor can act as agent of private hospitals and nursing homes,” the order said.