Woman delivers stillborn on road as Srinagar hospital refuses to admit her, doctor removed
A doctor from Srinagar’s Lal Ded Hospital — the largest government maternity hospital in the Valley — has been removed on Saturday after she allegedly refused to admit a woman from remote Mooree area of Kupwara district in Jammu and Kashmir. The woman later delivered a stillborn on Thursday night by the roadside as the city was shivering at -0.7 degrees Celsius. The government has ordered a probe into the matter.
The incident came to light on Friday after the family appeared before a media channel accusing the doctor of using “objectionable language” and denying them admission despite the patient being in pain and travelling more than 130 km.
“The doctor is doing her MD and is in her third year. She has been shunted out. We won’t allow such behaviour. I have recommended strict action against her,” said Shabir Sediqui, superintendent of Lal Ded Hospital. He added that there are standing instructions that if any patient comes from a faraway place, whether she is in labour or not, they should be allowed to stay overnight.
Suraya Begum, a resident of Moori, had labour pain at her home on Thursday morning following which she was carried by her husband Wazir Ahmad and other relatives for 10 km to the nearby medical facility at Kalaroos.
“Moori is a remote place covered under five feet snow. We left at 4 am after she developed pain and took her on our shoulders to the nearby medical facility at Kalaroos where doctors saw her and told us to go to Kupwara Hospital. At Kupwara the doctors gave us ambulance and referred us to Srinagar’s Lal Ded Hospital where we reached at 4 pm, They did some tests and then wrote a prescription telling us to go home at 8 PM. We requested them thrice to allow us stay for the night but the doctor used very objectionable language and forced us out of the hospital,” said Khane Zaman, brother-in-law of Begum..
The relative said that they boarded an auto and reached Bemina where the patient went into labour and gave birth to a stillbirth.
The incident has created furore in Kashmir with politicians seeking strict action from the Governor.
People’s Democratic Party (PDP) leader Mehbooba Mufti said that it was heart wrenching that a pregnant woman was turned away from a hospital, which ironically is named after the great Kashmiri mystic Lal Ded . “She later gave birth to a still born in frigid temperatures. Cannot even begin to fathom the pain and trauma the parents must feel,” she tweeted.
National Conference leader Omar Abdullah hoped the state functionaries working under the command of Jammu and Kashmir governor will take immediate action.