More than a month after a woman gave birth to a baby boy on the floor at Dr Mathra Das Pahwa Civil Hospital of Moga on the intervening night of January 8 and 9 and the baby died six days later on January 15, Punjab Health Minister Balbir Singh Sidhu Saturday ordered suspension of the doctor couple indicted in the inquiry.
Sidhu, who was in Moga Saturday to lay foundation stone of AYUSH hospital, told The Indian Express over the phone, “I am yet to go into the details of the report but I have been informed that the two doctors — the gynaecologist and paediatrician — who were on duty that night, were negligent due to which this incident happened and later the baby died. I have ordered suspension of both doctors. The written orders will be issued on Monday.”
Sidhu’s statement came after the family of Amandeep Kaur from Baje Ke village, the woman who had delivered the baby on the floor, met him on the sidelines of Saturday’s programme and demanded action against the doctors responsible for their baby’s death.
In a report headlined “Absent from duty, doctor couple didn’t show up despite distress calls from staff nurse”, dated January 21, The Indian Express had reported that the inquiry report submitted by the probe panel constituted by Moga civil surgeon had indicted the doctor couple for negligence. The Moga civil surgeon had written to the director (health) for the strictest action against both doctors but the action on the inquiry report was pending from the health minister’s office.
Amandeep had delivered the baby boy on the floor in the early hours of January 9 after the staff on duty allegedly refused to take her inside labour room. More so, the inquiry found that both senior doctors — Gupta and Aggarwal who were on emergency duty that night — were not only absent from duty but did not turn up even after emergency calls from hospital. Even after staff nurse Gagandeep Kaur informed them over the phone that the condition of the baby who was delivered on the floor was serious, they did not come to hospital till morning. Finally, when they came in the morning, they did not check the mother or the baby, said the inquiry. The baby was shifted to Guru Gobind Singh Medical College and Hospital, Faridkot, only after doctor in next shift checked him but he died on January 16.
The inquiry further found that both doctors that night kept guiding the nurse over the phone and even after six calls, they did not come on duty. By the time the doctor in next shift on January 9 checked the baby, he was already suffering from hypothermia and pneumonia.
In the inquiry report, the call records from the nurse’s phone and CCTV clips showing baby’s birth on the floor were attached as well. The inquiry panel further noted that not only the baby was delivered outside in biting cold (at a temperature of around 4 degrees Celsius), he wasn’t properly taken care of even after delivery on the floor due to which his condition deteriorated and he could not survive.
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