SS Prasad at MGM hospital before he suffered a fatal cardiac arrest on Sunday. Picture by Bhola Prasad
The medical fraternity of Jamshedpur on Monday voiced its anger and angst against inspection of government heal hubs after duty hours or on holidays.
The protest follows the fatal cardiac attack MGM Medical College and Hospital superintendent S.S. Prasad suffered during state health minister Rajendra Prasad Singh visit on Sunday.
Prasad (63), who had a history of an ailing heart and had to pace every ward with the minister late in the evening, collapsed around 9pm. He was rushed to the intensive care unit of MGM, but soon referred to Brahmananda Narayana Hrudayalaya (BNH) in Tamolia, where he died around 11pm.
Senior consultant cardiac surgeon at BNH Perwaiz Alam confirmed a massive heart attack as the cause of death. “He had a history of cardiac problems. He had undergone angioplasty and also had a pacemaker. Besides, he was on insulin for diabetes mellitus and was suffering from hypertension. When he was brought to our hospital, his ECG was feeble and his blood pressure wasn’t stable either. He died of acute myocardial infarction at 10.55pm,” Alam said.
Indian Medical Association’s (IMA) Jamshedpur chapter president K.P. Dubey squarely blamed the ministerial visit on a “non-working day and, hence, the accompanied strain” for the tragedy.
“The minister could have scheduled his visit on a weekday. In fact, he was scheduled to be in the city only on Monday. Superintendent Prasad had to work since morning on his off day and was also grilled and flayed by the minister. It seems all these factors led to his cardiac arrest,” said Dubey.
IMA’s city chapter secretary Mrityunjay Kumar Singh said they would take out a rally from MGM hospital to the district collectorate on Thursday (August 29) to demand for hassle-free work ambience.
“Ministers, MPs and administrative officials often carry out inspections to pressure medical practitioners. Doctors must not be humiliated thus. The government must first improve the working atmosphere in its hospitals. If it fails to act now, we will be forced to launch a statewide agitation,” he said.
The health minister, who had stayed put at MGM to oversee medical attention given to the superintendent, denied all allegations.
“Everything was before the media and the public. I had not used any derogatory language or criticised the superintendent for that matter. In fact, I had asked him to give me a list of infrastructure and manpower needs. I had categorically asked my men to stay outside the hospital. To keep the atmosphere light, I had even cracked jokes during the inspection. I have known him (superintendent Prasad) for more than five years. His demise was sudden and unfortunate,” Singh said.
The minister, who is also a senior Congress leader, cancelled his Monday itinerary, which included felicitation by social and trade union outfits in Jamshedpur, as a mark of respect for Prasad.
The MGM superintendent’s last rites will be performed on Tuesday.