Two days after a Kashmiri woman and her son accused a doctor at Chandigarh’s Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER) of calling them “stone-pelters”, the head of PGIMER’s neurosurgery department has offered help to the patient.
PGIMER director Dr Jagat Ram said he conducted an internal inquiry and found that the accused doctor was on leave on Monday, the day the incident took place.
“Dr SK Gupta, the head of the neurosurgery department, has informed that Dr MK Tiwari was on leave on that day. Dr Gupta questioned other consultants and resident doctors of the department but everyone denied making any such remark,” Dr Jagat said.
“The head of the department has offered help to the patient and has assured that he will look after the diagnostics, if needed,” he added.
Complaint and controversy
Javaid Malik, a resident of Srinagar, said on Thursday he took his mother Nasreena Malik (55) for treatment to PGIMER neurosurgery department but they left the hospital after the doctor’s misbehaviour and misinformation about the cost of treatment.
“Initially, the doctor talked to us in a civilised way but when he got to know that we are Kashmiris, his attitude changed. He got angry and threw away our documents saying, “Wahan Kashmir me humare jawano ko patthar maarte ho aur phir yahan ilaaj ke liye aate ho (You people throw stones at our security personnel in Kashmir and then come here for treatment),” Malik said.
He said that he was not sure of the name of the doctor who made the remark but the nameplate outside the cabin read Dr Manoj Tiwari.
Nasreena suffers from intracranial aneurysm (a blood vessel related condition in the brain) and had gone to PGIMER for consultation about a neurosurgical surgery, according to her family.
Javaid, who is a shopkeeper in Srinagar, said the doctor said the surgery would cost Rs 15 lakh, while other patients with similar ailment told him the procedure should cost a maximum of Rs 80,000, including medicines and other expenses. The doctor suggested they should go to All India Institute of Medical Sciences in Delhi, he said.
“Due to such behaviour, I left PGIMER with my mother last Thursday evening itself. Now we plan to go to Delhi for treatment,” Javaid said.
Neither Nasreena nor Javaid lodged a complaint with the hospital.
The PGI has denied Kashmiri patients are discriminated against.
The story, reported by a Srinagar-based English daily, evoked strong reactions on social media. Twitter user @Adeel_speaks described the incident as “nationalism in hospitals”.