BENGALURU: After he came to know about a grieving man who was made to run around for 50 days by the staff of the state-run Victoria Hospital to give the death certificate of his brother, the Lokayukta has issued directions to the government to take steps to avoid recurrence of such incidents in any government hospital.
In his recent order, Lokayukta Justice P Vishwanatha Shetty said that he had come across similar incidents in other government hospitals in the state too. He listed grievances such as steps not being taken to conduct post-mortem during night time, dead bodies not being released to the relatives of the deceased within reasonable time, relatives not being allowed to see dead bodies on untenable and flimsy grounds and delays in conducting post mortem.
“This matter requires being examined by the Home Department and Medical Education Department. I am sure the Home Department will take appropriate decision to relieve the hardship to the general public, on account of the delay in completing the inquest proceedings by issuing necessary directions/circulars to the concerned. The director/superintendent of the hospital may bring the matter to the notice of the Additional Chief Secretaries of Home Department, Medical Education Department and the Principal Secretary, Health and Family Welfare Department, for their consideration,” the Lokayukta said.
Although, the brother of the deceased got a death certificate in a day’s time after Justice Shetty’s intervention, the Lokayukta issued notice to the doctors of Victoria Hospital.
The hospital authorities, while regretting the inordinate delay in issuing the death certificate of B S Nanjundaiah, assured the Lokayukta that such incidents will not occur again and that they would take necessary remedial measures.
Stating that doctors can conduct inquest proceedings on time only with the help of the police concerned, the Lokayukta said police have an obligation to cooperate. He also said that post mortems are delayed when victims are brought to Victoria Hospital and the case is registered outside Bengaluru, as the concerned police have to conduct the inquest proceedings.
Other issues highlighted by Lokayukta
Issuance of death certificate without loss of time
Permitting relatives of victims/deceased to see the body
Conducting post-mortem at the earliest
Conducting inquest proceedings in time
Police must assist and cooperate with doctors of government hospitals to complete post-mortem at the earliest
6) Need to have boards with names and phone numbers of hospital staff at important places
‘Display names of hospital staff’
The man who complained to the Lokayukta about the delay in getting his brother’s death certificate also gave two suggestions to Justice Shetty. He urged to display names, designation and phone numbers of hospital staff at prominent places in Victoria Hospital, especially in the Trauma Centre, postmortem block and other speciality blocks, so that family members of patients can contact them if they need assistance. He also wanted to have the email address and the phone number of the Lokayuta and Upa Lokayuktas at prominent places in Victoria Hospital so that people whose problems have not been addressed by hospital authorities can contact them. The Lokayukta found both suggestions to be fair, and reasonable. In reply, Dr Satish, Medical Superintendent, Victoria Hospital, agreed to carry out the suggestions and display the boards in 2 weeks.