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Medical council red tape

Several people whose kin have died allegedly because of medical negligence think the cases they have filed with the state medical council are moving slowly.

“My sister Swapna, then 39, had been operated on for a cyst in the waist even though her blood sugar was abnormally high. She was admitted to a nursing home and operated on without my verbal or written consent. Swapna died of post-operative complications,” schoolteacher Ratna Ghosh, a resident of Rishra, said at a programme organised by the People for Better Treatment, a voluntary organisation.

In the six years since the death, the state medical council has heard the case only twice. Ratna said the case is on hold because the original report of a blood test could not be handed over to the council.

“A photocopy has been submitted to the council as the original report is with court.”

Among others who voiced similar concerns was Somraj Sen, 32, whose wife Arunima, 28, a paediatrician at BC Roy Memorial Hospital for Children, had died at a private hospital in Alipore after “a massive cardiac arrest” during a laparoscopy.

“My wife never had any cardiac history. Now we are being told that the council will take up the case after six months. If this is the time taken to start a case, how long will it continue?” wondered Somraj, an engineer with L&T.

An official of the West Bengal Medical Council said it often took a long time to dispose of a case because the authorities have to abide by “many codes and rules”.

“Our experts have to seek opinions from all parties concerned before reaching a conclusion,” said the official.