‘PGI red tape killed Anupama’

The working of the premier medical institute of the region PGIMER was in for severe criticism as the national consumer disputes redressal commission, New Delhi, blamed the prevalent “red tapism” for the death of 16-year-old girl Anupama Sarkar, who had died in 2012 waiting to be attended by the doctors.
Updated on May 23, 2015 11:37 AM IST
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Hindustan Times | By, Chandigarh

The working of the premier medical institute of the region PGIMER was in for severe criticism as the national consumer disputes redressal commission, New Delhi, blamed the prevalent “red tapism” for the death of 16-year-old girl Anupama Sarkar, who had died in 2012 waiting to be attended by the doctors.

“Due to the red tape prevalent at the PGI, a precious life could not be saved,” said the national consumer commission while enhancing the compensation awarded to by Rs 10 lakh in addition to the Rs 7 lakh ordered to be paid by PGI by the state consumer disputes redressal commission, Chandigarh, on April 1, 2013.

Critical of the approach adopted by the hospital while dealing with victim Anupama, the national panel bench presided over by Justice VB Gupta said, “Hospital is a prestigious medical institute. It is expected that it should not work in a purely bureaucratic manner (treating a patient according to the list), but it should be run in a professional manner.

The medical surgeries, operations and other emergency treatments are to be administered keeping in view the nature of ailment, seriousness and other exigencies as per the best judgement of the treating doctor.”

The strong-worded order further reads, “In the present case, it is an admitted fact that patient’s condition was quite serious from the time she was admitted.”

“Keeping in view the ailment’s nature from which the patient was suffering, the hospital should not have insisted on red tape,” the order reads.

CASE FOR COMPLIANCE

Deviating from the normal procedure, the national panel has listed the case for July 31 for compliance. This means that the PGI would have to deposit the entire amount by way of demand draft in the name of complainants.

In case, the PGI fails to comply within the specified period, then it shall be liable to pay 9% interest till realisation. “The complainants have lost their only child who was aged about 16-year-old. No amount of money can compensate parents’ sufferings and agony,” said the panel.

THE CASE

Left leg of Anupama, a Mauli Jagran complex resident, was crushed under a CTU bus on July 17. Her family had alleged that delay in treatment had led to leg amputation. The delay in surgery resulted in the spread of infection that developed into gas gangrene, they claimed. The condition led to her death on July 24, 2012.

PGI FAILS TO LEARN LESSONS

Following the incident, an external probe panel of five doctors, under the chairmanship of Baba Farid University of Health Services, Faridkot, V-C Prof SS Gill, had made a number of immediate, short-term and long-term steps for improvement of PGI’s working, but nothing has been done on ground.

PGI’s PRO Manju Wadwalkar said, “We have taken a few steps to improve the working, but fact still remains that the institute is overburdened. Regarding the order, we will have to examine it before deciding whether to appeal or not.”

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