A doctor in Chandigarh’s Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER) allegedly threw the Hippocratic Oath out of the window and abused a Kashmiri woman and her son, ticking them off for throwing stones at security forces in the Valley and coming to Chandigarh for treatment.
Nasreena Malik (55), a native of Srinagar, suffers from intracranial aneurysm (a blood vessel related condition in the brain) and had gone to PGI for consultation about a neurosurgical surgery, according to her family. The family said that they left the hospital in a huff after the doctor’s misbehaviour and misinformation about cost of treatment.
The incident happened on Thursday. Nasreena’s son Javaid Malik told Hindustan Times that the nameplate outside the doctor’s cabin read “Dr Manoj Tiwari”, although Javaid says he is not sure if the doctor who misbehaved was Dr Tiwari or not.
“As we entered the cabin, he talked to us in a civilised way and started his check up. Then he asked for the case history of the patient. The moment I showed him previous documents from Srinagar’s SKIMS Hospital and he got to know that we are Kashmiris, his attitude changed. He just got angry and threw away the documents and said that ‘Vaha Kashmir me humara jawano ko patthar mar te ho aur phir yahan ilaj ke liye aate ho’ (“you people pelt stones on security personnel in Kashmir and come here for treatment”), Javaid said.
Javaid who is a shopkeeper in Srinagar, added that the doctor said the surgery would cost Rs 15 lakh while other patients with similar ailment told him that it should cost a maximum of Rs 80,000, including medicines and other expenses. The doctor also suggested they should go to AIIMS in Delhi, he said.
“Due to such behaviour and misinformation, I left PGI with my mother that evening itself. Now we are considering going 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.
“Everyday hundreds of people from Kashmir visit PGIMER for treatment and we provide best quality treatment to everyone. We haven’t received any complaint but we will look into the matter, if anything like that has happened. Though it is very unlikely, as such an incident has never been reported,” Dr Jagat Ram, director PGIMER told HT.
The story, reported by a Srinagar-based English daily, has evoked strong reactions on social media.
Twitter user @Adeel_speaks described the incident as “nationalism in hospitals.”
Chandigarh-based lawyer Navdeep Singh tweeted, “That’s quite hard to believe as far as Chandigarh is concerned. Is there any official complaint on this?”
Shaktisinh Gohil, described as a spokesperson of Congress and MLA in Gujarat, tweeted: “How can it be so inhumane?”
How can it be so inhuman? Kashmiri patient denied treatment at PGI Chandigarhhttps://t.co/79q13oyZxD— Shaktisinh Gohil (@shaktisinhgohil) May 7, 2017
Facebook user M Tahir Firaz wrote on the news, “The Indian media has poisoned minds of its people and we can see clear manifestations of that.”
Another user shared the story saying, “The incident below needs serious attention of concerned authorities.