Krishnagar, Nov. 5: As he saw her writhing in the labour room, calling out to him for help, to Dr Bappa Dhali the would-be mother was a Bihari first and patient later.
“Don’t create such a din,” the junior doctor snapped at 30-year-old Sushila Gupta. “This is typical Bihari behaviour,” he said in disgust.
Sushila, who gave birth to her first child at the Jawaharlal Nehru Memorial Hospital in Kalyani last Monday, alleges that after the insult, the doctor “intentionally made the post-delivery stitching-up more painful”.
“As I cried in pain, he told me my behaviour smacked of Bihari culture. I could bear the pain of childbirth but could not digest the insult, not even after I had been discharged,” she said over the phone from her home at Kanchrapara, North 24-Parganas, where she has been born and brought up.
Sushila, whose parents are from Ranchi — now in Jharkhand but formerly in Bihar — lodged a complaint with hospital superintendent Nirupam Biswas on Thursday.
Her complaint says Dhali’s comment caused her “terrible pain” and demands a written apology from him.
Sushila has also requested the superintendent to tell his doctors to be “a little cautious and merciful” while stitching up patients after normal deliveries.
Biswas has set up a five-member probe team and asked Dhali to go on leave till the inquiry was over. Sushila alleges the doctors on the panel have admonished her and her husband for lodging the complaint.
“They accused us of making a mountain out of a molehill. They said the doctor didn’t intentionally hurt my wife while he stitched her up,” said Ashok Gupta, a state government official.
Dhali has refused to apologise. “I have done nothing wrong,” he said.
“He’ll have to apologise if the allegation is proved,” Biswas said.
A probe team member, N.B. Kanjilal, said: “We think she is exaggerating about the stitch-up. But we are seriously looking into the allegation about the insult over her origins.”