HEALTH: Hospital siege for baby neglect

HEALTH: Hospital siege for baby neglect – haughtiness of health officials in Siliguri not unknown, cultural arrogance ?!!


Siliguri, July 23: Family members of a three-year-old boy confined the superintendent of Siliguri District Hospital to his chamber for more than an hour today, demanding action against a paediatrician who they alleged was neglecting the treatment of the child.

The protesters also obstructed the paediatrician when he was on way to attend an emergency case.

Keshav Sharma, the son of Jaideb Sharma of Ganganagar in Siliguri, was admitted to the diarrhoea ward of the hospital on June 16.

“Keshav was under the care of Dr R. Bhagat. When the child’s abdomen had swelled on Saturday morning, we consulted Bhagat. But he wouldn’t talk to us properly and only suggested that we do some blood tests and an ultrasonography (USG). When we went to him with the blood and USG reports on Sunday, Bhagat was on leave. The doctor came back only on Tuesday and has not attended to my son properly since then. He speaks rudely whenever we inquire about Keshav’s health. On the other hand, my son’s condition has not improved. So, we have filed a complaint with the superintendent against the doctor,” said Jaideb.

The baby was diagnosed with subacute intestinal obstruction with septicaemia — an infection in the intestine caused by food, which leads to the swelling of the abdomen.

The gherao that started at 11.30am was withdrawn after an assurance from superintendent S.K. Sarkar that the patient would receive proper treatment at the hospital. However, the protesters, who included Congress members also, then headed straight to the out-patients’ department looking for Bhagat. He was on his way to the paediatric ward to attend an emergency case.

The doctor was surrounded for more than 10 minutes but was allowed to go with the intervention of security personnel and other doctors.

Bhagat has denied the allegations levelled against him.

“The patient’s relatives are just harassing me. There was no negligence on my part. Nor was I rude with the relatives. I was on casual leave for two days and another doctor was in charge of the patient and he took care of the baby. Today, they stopped me for more than 10 minutes when I was going to attend a critical patient. I have submitted a complaint to the superintendent against the patient’s family,” he said.

Regarding Keshav’s condition, Bhagat said: “We are administering a 14-day course of antibiotics on him. He has improved considerably.”

Sarkar said he had received both the complaints and would look into the matter.


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