KOTTAYAM: A nursing trainee, who by mistake placed a tray of medicines on a patient’s bed, was forced to lie on the next bed in the same ward with a medicine tray on her body as punishment by a doctor. Following stringent protests from the nursing community, the doctor was given a punishment transfer on Friday. The incident was reported at the Government Medical College Hospital here.
Dr John S Kurien, head of the Department of General Surgery, was transferred as per the directive from the Health Minister’s office on the basis of a complaint filed by a voluntary nursing trainee. The action was initiated against the doctor after nurses launched an indefinite strike on Friday morning demanding the doctor’s suspension. The series of incidents commenced on Monday when Dr John arrived at the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) ward of the surgery department (ward 15) for a routine visit. Seeing a tray consisting of a glucometer, a needle and some cotton on a patient’s bed, Dr John enquired about the person who placed it there.
According to the nurses, the trainee nurse left the tray on the bed by mistake and went to attend to a patient who was just brought to the ICU ward. Though she came back and briefed the doctor about the emergency situation, he directed her to lie on a vacant bed in the same ward and place the tray on her body till he completed his rounds in the ward, alleged the nurses.
Meanwhile, Dr John said the nurse was asked to lie on the bed only for three minutes just to make her understand the difficulties the patient, who was in a serious condition post surgery, had to undergo. “She placed two trays on the patient’s body. I gave the punishment knowing the pain of the patient,” he said.
As no action was taken against the doctor, the nurses launched an indefinite protest on Friday and various service unions took up the issue forcing the medical college authorities to invite them for talks. The nurses temporarily called off their protest by noon after Dr John was transferred.
MCH authorities formed a panel to inquire into the incident. MCH principal Jose Joseph said a report was submitted to government on the matter