THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The doctors in the state are up in arms against the impending arrest of two resident doctors over the death of Murugan, a migrant labour from Tamil Nadu. Murugan had succumbed to the injuries suffered in a road accident after failing to receive timely medical assistance.
The Kerala Medical PG Association (KMPGA), Kerala Government Medical College Teachers Association and the Indian Medical Association have strongly come out against the move, stating the doctors could not be made scapegoats for the failure of the entire system.
KMPGA president P Jathin said a meeting of the association held on Sunday decided to extend all legal support to the doctors. “If they are arrested, the doctors will go on an indefinite strike,’’ he said.
Jathin said the association did not agree with the findings of the inquiry report of the Director of Health Services(DHS), which highlighted the failures on the part of the MCH authorities.
“The inquiry committee did not have any experience in trauma care. The DHS is a paediatrician, Joint DME is an expert in forensic science and the third member is an anaesthetist. They may be experts in their respective fields but they have no experience in trauma care,’’ he said.
Deeply regretting the circumstances which led to Murugan’s death, KGMCTA president Dr Kavitha Ravi said the doctors cannot be blamed for the system’s failure. When the patient was brought to Thiruvananthapuram Medical College, the doctors had told his relatives there was no ventilator available. Besides, they were told it was not advisable to shift him from the ventilator in the ambulance. Shortly afterwards, the ambulance driver took the patient to some other hospital, she said.
In a major hospital like the Thiruvananthapuram Medical College Hospital(MCH), it is not possible for a duty medical officer or resident doctors to know if ventilators are available in each of the departments. According to Dr Kavitha, the association has sought a centralised system plus an accident insurance scheme.
IMA state president Dr V G Pradeep Kumar, meanwhile, said Murugan’s death reflected the failure of the entire trauma care system. ‘’As of now, we have not taken any decision regarding questioning the doctors. We will decide on the future course of action only after looking into the developments,’’ he said, adding it is the time the authorities addressed the shortcomings in trauma care management.