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IMA, BSHSA urge Bihar govt to revoke doctor’s suspension

IMA questions validity of district probe panel on whose recommendation doctor was suspended. It says no point employing health managers if doctors were supposed to manage hospitals and arrange for mortuary van and ambulance for patients.

india Updated: Jun 06, 2017 17:31 IST
Aditya Nath Jha
Aditya Nath Jha
Hindustan Times, Purnia
IMA,BSHSA,doctor suspended
A daily wager carries the body of his wife on a motorbike, driven by his son in Purnia. (HT file photo)

The Indian Medical Association (IMA) and the Bihar State Health Services Association (BSHSA) have demanded that the state government revoke the suspension of a doctor in connection with the case of a man having to carry the corpse of his wife on a motorcycle, after being denied a hearse or an ambulance at the Purnia sadar hospital.

The woman died at the hospital during the course of treatment on June 2.

Rallying behind suspended Dr SK Verma, senior medical officer at the Purnia district hospital, the IMA and the BSHSA said they would take to the streets if the doctor’s suspension was not revoked. The associations said that the doctor was being made a scapegoat. They even alleged that the government was trying to conceal the fault of the district health society, which they alleged, was steeped in corruption.

The IMA even questioned the validity of the two-member district probe panel, on whose recommendation the government had suspended Dr Verma. It wondered how the Purnia civil surgeon, who the government later chose to issue a show-cause notice to, was on the probe panel. The committee was headed by additional district magistrate Ravindranath.

The IMA said arranging mortuary van or ambulance was not the duty of doctors.Demanding stern action against the hospital health manager, it said, “If doctors are supposed to manage hospitals and arrange for mortuary van and ambulance for patients, there is no point employing hospital managers.”

Dr Verma, who is also the district unit president of the IMA, said he would knock the doors of the judiciary if denied justice.

“Soon after the woman’s death I told her husband (Shankar Sah, 60, a labourer) to meet the health manager. I have been made a scapegoat to protect the hospital manager,” he added.

While suspending Dr Verma, the government had on Monday issued show-cause notices to Purnia civil surgeon Dr MM Wasim, hospital deputy superintendent Dr Sushila Das, hospital manager Simpi Kumari and district programme manager Brajesh Kumar Singh.

The government had directed them to explain the circumstances under which the daily wager had to carry the body of his wife on a motorcycle, with his son driving it.

Taking the matter seriously, chief minister Nitish Kumar said on Monday that steps were being taken to avoid a repetition of the incident.

Kumar said his government would work out a policy and make available resources to the health department to provide transportation to those who could not afford it if any of their family members died at any government health facility during the course of treatment.

Denied a hearse or an ambulance, Sah had taken his wife’s body on motorcycle to his village at Ranibari village, some 20 kms from hospital.

As soon as the photograph of the man carrying his wife’s body on motorbike was published in newspapers, Purnia district magistrate Pankaj Kumar Pal had on Saturday constituted a two-member probe team.

First Published: Jun 06, 2017 17:31 IST