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Protests against doctors affect health services

punjab Updated: Apr 22, 2013 18:47 IST
Jatinder Kohli

The government doctors posted in the district are under pressure following protests by people who had lost their near and dear ones during treatment in the recent past. Two such incidents have come to fore since April 1.

In the first case, a woman and her unborn child died at Jadla primary health centre, while more recently, a newborn died at the civil hospital. The doctors attending to the patients faced protests in the both the incidents.

The two senior doctors, who are accused of negligence in the said cases, do not want to join duty at the locations of their postings, thus affecting the health services.

The fresh case occurred on Thursday, when a family of Olyiapur village, along with 50 residents, protested against district's lone gynaecologist Dr Sukhwinder Kaur Nagra, accusing her of negligence in connection with the death of a newborn at the civil hospital. The family had demanded registration of a police case against Dr Nagra and also blocked Nawanshahr-Jalandhar road for an hour.

The police and health department are conducting two separate inquiries into the incident to know the reason behind the death of the child. After the incident, Dr Nagra proceeded on leave and was yet to join duty at the civil hospital. Due to Dr Nagra's unavailability, no cesarean deliveries could take place at the civil hospital and complicated cases were referred to private hospitals.

Earlier on April 1, a pregnant woman, Anita Rani, died, along with her unborn child, at the Jadla PHC, after which residents of Jadla village held a massive protest against PHC's medical officer Dr Sonia and other staff members.

The family had met deputy commissioner Tanu M Kashyap and submitted a memorandum, seeking action against Dr Sonia and other staff members of the PHC, who they alleged, were responsible for the deaths of Anita and her unborn child. The family also sought a compensation of Rs 3 lakh, as, the claimed, promised by the doctor and staff after the incident. Sources said that after the incident, Dr Sonia joined at Muzzarfarpur PHC as medical officer and since then Jadla PHC was without a medical officer.

Sources said that Dr Sonia didn't want to go back to Jadla and had also conveyed the same to civil surgeon. A departmental inquiry had already given clean chit to Dr Sonia and others and blamed a quack for the deaths.

Interestingly, on Monday, a delegation of residents of Jadla village approached the civil surgeon and requested her to send Dr Sonia back to the PHC and promised that her stay there would be trouble-free.

Speaking with Hindustan Times, civil surgeon Dr Amarjeet Kaur said, “The two incidents were disturbing for the doctors as well as for the staff. On Monday, a delivery case involving a poor family came to hospital, but absence of we couldn't help the patient.”
The repercussions are serious as doctors don't want to touch complicated cases.

“Jadla villagers are now demanding to send back Dr Sonia at the PHC and have submitted a written application in this regard,” said the civil surgeon.