BENGALURU: A day after a pregnant woman in labour and her unborn twins died from excessive bleeding at their residence after being denied treatment at the Tumakuru District Hospital, Health Minister Dr K Sudhakar said a new set of laws and guidelines will be put in place for hospitals to strictly follow to ensure those facing medical emergencies are not turned away for want of procedures and documents at the hospitals.
If need be, the laws will be amended in the next assembly session, he said. Following the health minister’s directions, the health department issued a series of guidelines stating that nationality, caste and economic status of a patient should not be asked for in times of medical emergency; no documents like Tayi card, Aadhaar, ration card or any other should be asked for; that hospitals’ and health centres’ foremost duty is to provide treatment to patients; and that hospitals cannot force patients or attenders to submit documents ahead of treatment.
Staff of erring hospitals will be booked: Sudhakar
Sudhakar said if any such case is reported in future, criminal proceedings will be initiated against the staffers of the medical centres concerned, and they could even be dismissed from service.
Sudhakar did not mince words while asserting that if doctors or hospital staffers were found misbehaving with patients or their attenders, their services would be immediately terminated.
Sudhakar said, “There are around 76 notified emergency services. Instructions have already been issued not to deny or delay treatment in cases. In case treatment is not available in government hospitals, people can avail it in any private hospital and the government will bear the cost of the treatment.”
Meanwhile, the state health department commissioner D Randeep on Friday issued orders suspending Tumakuru District Hospital's gynaecologist Dr Usha A R and three nurses — Yashodha B R, Savita and Divya Bharathi — over the death of the woman and her unborn twins on Thursday. Inquiry against the four will continue and criminal proceedings will be initiated against the accused.
The hospital has also been served a show-cause notice, directing its authorities to respond within 24 hours.
The dead woman’s husband has remained untraceable since before the incident. Her six-year-old daughter has been admitted to an orphanage. A fixed deposit of Rs five lakh was opened in the girl's name by the state government, which has also assured of taking care of her education.
Sudhakar said: “The police have been trying to trace the family of the woman since the last 36 hours. The state government will take complete responsibility in this case. Irrespective of which state the woman belongs to, she should have been treated at the hospital on humanitarian grounds. This incident has indeed created a mistrust in the entire public health system.”
CHILD RIGHTS PANEL TO PROBE WOMAN’S DEATH
Tumakuru: Karnataka State Commission for Protection of Child Rights Chairman Naganna Gowda on Friday said that since the National Commission has also taken serious note of the death of the pregnant woman Kasturi and her twins, after she was denied treatment at a district hospital, a high-level probe will be conducted into the incident.