Death of pregnant woman: Noida initiates action against 7 hospitals

Updated on Jun 10, 2020 04:18 AM IST

The inquiry concluded that the woman, Neelam, a resident of Khoda in Ghaziabad, died as a result of government and private hospitals denying her timely treatment on June 5.

Volunteers during a disinfection drive at Child Specialist hospital during lockdown in Noida.(Sunil Ghosh/HT File Photo)
Volunteers during a disinfection drive at Child Specialist hospital during lockdown in Noida.(Sunil Ghosh/HT File Photo)
Hindustan Times, Noida | ByTanmayee Tyagi, Noida

The Gautam Budh Nagar district administration has initiated action against three government hospitals and four private facilities for denying treatment to a 30-year-old eight-month pregnant woman, who died on June 5.

The action comes a day after the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) issued a notice to the Uttar Pradesh government, seeking its action-taken report into this case as well as that of another woman who was allegedly denied treatment by hospitals.

A two-member team, comprising chief medical officer Dr Deepak Ohri and ADM (finance) MN Upadhyay, which was constituted to probe the incidents surrounding the death of the pregnant woman, submitted its report to district magistrate Suhas LY on Tuesday.

The inquiry concluded that the woman, Neelam, a resident of Khoda in Ghaziabad, died as a result of government and private hospitals denying her timely treatment on June 5. Her family had alleged negligence on the part of the hospitals and said they had to ferry her in an auto-rickshaw from one hospital to another over a span of 13 hours, after each one turned her away.

The report said Neelam had complained of breathlessness and was rushed to the ESI hospital in Sector 24 by her husband. From there, she was referred to the Government Institute of Medical Sciences (GIMS) in Greater Noida. However, the ambulance dropped her off at the district hospital in Sector 30 instead. From there, she was taken to four private hospitals in Noida, each one turning her away citing a lack of beds. Her family then took her to a private hospital in Vaishali, Ghaziabad, which, too, refused to treat her. She was again brought back to GIMS, where she was declared dead.

The report found the doctors who checked and referred her, as well as the driver of the ambulance which dropped her outside the district hospital liable for negligence.

“If she had to be referred to a higher centre from the district hospital, a senior staff member should have taken that decision. Concerned staff should have informed the senior management,” the report said.

“Such instances have occurred in the past as well and points to supervisory negligence. We have written to the state government to transfer Dr Vandana Sharma, chief medical superintendent (CMS) of the district hospital,” Suhas said. He also said the government has been urged to act against the staff nurse and ward attendant of the district hospital.

“The four private hospitals had claimed that they did not have beds available, but the inquiry found the staff and management of these hospitals were negligent. The CMO has been asked to issue a show-cause notice to the hospitals, form a technical committee for further investigation and register FIRs against them,” the DM said.

“The director of GIMS has been asked to identify the doctors and staff who first refused the family and take action against them,” the DM’s office said. The Ghaziabad district magistrate has been asked to take appropriate action against the hospital in Vaishali.

Suhas has also asked the CMO to issue an advisory to all private and government hospitals to ensure that in cases of emergency, no patient should be denied treatment. However, if referring a patient to another hospital is unavoidable, then there should be proper coordination between the two hospitals.

The NHRC has issued a notice to the state government over this incident and also in connection with another incident in which a 26-year-old pregnant woman was denied admission by the district hospital and she ended up giving birth to a stillborn girl outside the hospital. A detailed report from the state has been sought within four weeks, citing the action taken against erring doctors/ officials.

Suhas said, “Action is being taken against negligent parties and carelessness will not be tolerated.” Taking cognizance of the cases of negligence, the administration has issued a dedicated emergency helpline number (0120-2569901) which will be operational 24 hours to help those in urgent need of treatment.

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