70-Yr-Old’s Death: Internal Enquiry Likely In Alleged MMCH ‘Negligence’ Case
GUWAHATI: The death of an ailing person from Assam's Darrang district in front of Mahendra Mohan Choudhury Hospital (MMCH) in Panbazar sparked chaos in the hospital premises on the night of Wednesday, July 24.
The deceased, identified as Gokul Sasoni of Udalguri, was admitted to MMCH on July 24 at 4 PM. The hospital authorities prescribed the patient some medicines and asked him to come back on Thursday, July 25 for some tests. Unfortunately, however, Sasoni passed away soon after the treatment.
Eye witnesses alleged that Sasoni, unable to walk after his meeting with the hospital staff, sat on the footpath outside the hospital campus and was provided water by locals in the area, following which he passed away right outside the hospital premises.
Sasoni’s family members have blamed MMCH for his death alleging that he could not be revived due to the negligence of the hospital authorities. His wife also mentioned that the patient was released from MMCH without completion of his treatment.
The incident sparked outrage outside the hospital and led to protest, even as Sasoni's body lay dead right there.
“70-year-old Gokul Sasoni was admitted into the Emergency ward complaining of weakness. Our doctor treated him for the same, gave gastric injection and tablets for fever. The patient left the hospital post treatment, and soon after, the unfortunate incident took place,” informed KK Deka, Assistant Superintendent of MMCH.
He alleged that the public gathered outside the hospital when Sasoni’s wife started crying out loud and soon the hospital authorities too rushed to check the body but the wife and public interfered.
“We wanted to carry Sasoni’s body to the hospital to confirm the cause of death but the public did not let us. Then we took the support of police and took the body for post-mortem,” expressed Deka.
It may be mentioned that the police has concluded the post-mortem on the body and sent it back to his village in Darrang district.
Deka also stated that the wife was uncooperative and refused assistance, yet the hospital authorities managed food for her and provided her with a hospital bed until police completed post-mortem.
Speaking to G Plus about the alleged negligence and the action being taken, Deka said, “If needed, an internal enquiry would be set up at the Gauhati Medical College & Hospital (GMCH) against the doctor for which the MMCH has already sent a letter addressed to the Principal of GMCH.”
Inadequate action taken on medical negligence cases
In a worrying trend, Guwahati has seen a number of cases of medical negligence in the past few months. However, in a majority of the instances the government has failed to take any action in these cases.
Various instances of alleged negligence were reported from across the city which brought to the fore the importance of bringing accountability for hospital authorities.
In an example of alleged medical negligence a few months ago, a case was registered with the Bharalumukh police station against the Institute of Human Reproduction (IHR), commonly known as Goenka Nursing Home, for alleged medical negligence.
According to reports, a city resident, 31-year-old Nasima Sultana who was pregnant, died a few hours after she was admitted for delivery to Goenka Nursing Home. Sultana was a dietician at a top hospital in the city.
Additionally, the increasing number of medical negligence cases being registered in the city against government as well as private hospital authorities is forcing people to seek treatment outside the state for critical ailments.
On the other hand, the magnitude of such cases can also be ascertained by the number of cases received by the district consumer court. Kamrup (Metro) District Consumer Disputes Redressal forum (DCDRF) officials informed G Plus that they receive several cases related to medical negligence in a month.
The cases range from wrong diagnosis of diseases to negligence in medical services. Officials of the DCDRF informed that such cases of medical negligence have become very frequent with at least three to four cases being filed with the consumer forum every month.
In an earlier case, a city resident gave his blood sample for testing to a laboratory before donating blood to a friend. However, the reports revealed that he had tested positive for HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus).
After this, the man consulted two doctors and on their advice, gave his blood samples for testing in two different laboratories. Both the results showed a negative result for HIV.
“He then filed a case of medical negligence against the first laboratory in which the DCDRF passed a judgement and ordered the laboratory owner to pay compensation to the complainant,” informed Mohammad Sahadat Hussain, president of the DCDRC.
In yet another case, a woman filed a case against a city-based private hospital after her father passed away after being admitted for a week in the hospital. Member of DCDRF, Archana Deka, informed that the complainant’s father was suffering from jaundice and had stopped responding to treatment before he passed away.