Updated: March 2, 2021 8:37:18 am
Days after a tribal woman and her newborn child died outside Gawan block’s community health centre (CHC) in Gridih district on Thursday evening, since no doctors were available at the time, the Jharkhand government on Monday issued showcause notice to three doctors and an AYUSH practitioner and sought explanation on their lackadaisical behaviour.
Surja Marandi and her newborn were rushed from Tisri block of the district on Thursday evening – after birth, the infant’s placenta could not be removed and bleeding did not stop.
They were carried on a cot since the area lacks a motorable road and were brought to Gawan CHC, approximately 7 km away. Family members had said that the infant died before the woman passed away outside the hospital.
An inquiry was conducted by the district administration subsequently to look into purported carelessness of doctors at the CHC. A showcause letter, issued on Monday by Joint Secretary (Health) Vidyanand Sharma Pankaj, asks why disciplinary proceedings should not be initiated against them for their “carelessness and indiscipline”.
One of the doctors to be pulled up – Dr Saalik Jamaal – remained absent on February 25 without informing anyone. The notice (translated from Hindi) stated: “You were absent on February 25 from the hospital without any authorisation. As per the inquiry report, had you been present, the women, who gave birth to a child, could have been possibly saved…”
A notice was also issued to medical officers Neha Kumari and Irshad Ansaru, as they did not take charge in the hospital even after several days. “…As per inquiry it came to light that these doctors did not take charge even after being appointed. The incident happened in an emergency situation and in your unauthorised absence,” the letter stated.
The AYUSH practitioner, who was present that day until 4.15 pm, was also pulled up and the department sought an explanation on why he had left without waiting for the in-charge.
Stating that his “whole life has turned upside down”, Sunil Tudu, Surja Marandi’s husband, told The Indian Express: “I was not even there when she was carried to the hospital. Nobody thought that the situation would become this serious, as at least four or five childbirths took place in our village without anyone going to the hospital.”
Tudu, who said he had walked for a kilometre to speak with The Indian Express over the phone since there is due “no (mobile phone) network” in the villages, asked, “How could we call an ambulance when there is no network?”
A resident of Laxmibathan colony of Bardauni village in Giridih, Tudu works as a labourer and said he earns around Rs 4,000 a month.