SRINAGAR: Nearly after four months, the cognizance taken by the Chief Minister’s grievance cell in pediatric negligence cases at Sub District Hospital (SDH) Sopore turns futile as the Director Health Services Kashmir allegedly shields the accused doctors by providing inadequate response to cover up the complaint.
On September, 02, the CM’s grievance cell sought response of the director in the complaint within the next 10 days considering the matter as important.
However, making mockery of the cognizance, the director on September, 18 in his reply to the CM’s grievance cell wrote, “As reported by CMO Baramulla, Dr. Suhail Naik is already posted there. However, one medical officer from DH Baramulla visits SDH Sopore twice a week”.
Observing that the reply of the director is not adequate and relevant to the cases, CM’s grievance cell shot another letter to the director on November, 24 asking him to furnish the relevant response. The letter reads, “With regard to the reply furnished, it has been found that the registered grievance was related to negligence and the reply given is regarding posting of doctors. Kindly provide adequate response in the grievance considering it in the larger interest of common people”.
In response to the this letter, on November, 27 the director wrote, “The said complaint has been investigated by a team of officers of this directorate who have reported that pediatrician, Dr. Suhail Naik, posted in SDH Sopore has attended the newborns in both the cases well in time and the committee has concluded that the said complaint is baseless”.
Interestingly, it took director health services just two days to submit the ‘clean chit response’ in favour of accused, however it took him nearly four months to understand the complaint registered against the doctors. Now the question arises, if the director in his first reply into the complaint failed to furnish any details related to the grievance of negligence, how come just within two days, his team of officers investigated it overnight to conclude the case. Now if the director has got it investigated earlier, then why he failed to submit his relevant response earlier and compelled CM’s grievance cell to write him again.
Sources in the department said that the director tried to shield the accused doctors by buying time in the response adding that latter pressure from the CM office compelled him to file the irrelevant response. Sources said that the matter was taken seriously by the CM’s team who shot another query regarding relevant response into the negligence cases at SDH Sopore adding that “but every time director’s response was favorable to accused. No inquiry or investigation was done. The replies into the complaint are concocted”.
The complainant grieved that the response of the director clearly indicates that he is shielding the accused doctors for his ulterior motives. “Instead of talking to victims, he blindly gives clean chits to his colleagues at the cost of human lives. He never approached us, nor did any officer, doctor from the health department approach us to listen to our ordeal. So how come he is passing the responsibilities”, aggrieved parents said.
They added; let director health service submit his investigation report to the CM’s grievance cell if he can’t make it public. “Let him show a single check-up in the hospital record or discharge certificate. Let him prove his base of terming the complaint baseless. We have all records that the newborn was not at least once checked by the pediatricians during his stay in the hospital and records of admission in district hospital after complications due to negligence. Let him show relevant records of committee who submits report to him. ”, they said.
Pertinently on August 18, the CM’s grievance cell took cognizance of the complaint that the pediatricians posted in the hospital do not take care of proper checkup of new born babies. The gist of the complaint registered (No. 71064) by the grievance cell reads, “A lot of hue and cry came up recently from the Sub District Hospital (Sopore), District Baramulla wherein several patients have claimed that the pediatricians posted in the hospital do not take care of proper screening of new born babies. The matter became extremely crucial as a baby needs immediate screening in the first 48 hours of his/her birth. The missing of doctors (Pedeatricians) causes a problem for the new born babies”.
The grievance cell wrote in the cognizance letter that the matter was also raised by the concerned BMO who sought a report from Dr. Suhail Naik who is allegedly running a private clinic. “The authorities are requested to consider the matter as extremely important and take necessary action by intervening properly”, the grievance cell wrote to the Director Health Service, Chief Medical Officer (CMO), Baramulla and Deputy Commissioner Baramulla besides asked to submitted report within in one week.
Worth to mention that the matter came into the light when some news reports regarding the negligence of paediatricians were published in section of media after an infant died on August 11 in the hospital. The news reports also mentioned that for most of the time, paediatricians in the hospital are missing which forced parents of another infant to run from pillar to post after the infant developed some problems on August 12.