Tribune News Service
Shimla, October 18
The Medical Superintendent of Deen Dayal Upadhyay (DDU) hospital has been charge-sheeted by the state government. A COVID-19 patient had died by suicide in the hospital on September 22.
Dr Lokender Sharma has been charge-sheeted on the basis of the inquiry report submitted by Prabha Rajeev, Additional District Magistrate, Shimla. The charge-sheet was issued by Secretary Health Amitabh Awasthy.
Health and Family Welfare Minister Rajeev Sehzal on Saturday signed the file for charge-sheeting the medical superintendent. Immediately after the suicide was reported, the government had shifted out RD Dhiman, Additional Chief Secretary, Health, leaving everyone surprised as to why no action against the medical staff.
The medical superintendent and the doctor posted in the COVID ward on the night the patient committed suicide will face action. Along with them, a nurse and the para-medical staff, too, will be charge-sheeted by the director of Health Services.
The medical superintendent also faces charges of misleading the inquiry officer by furnishing wrong information.
The COVID-19 patient who died by suicide was a 54-year-old woman from Chopal area of Shimla.
The 54-page report had clearly cited mismanagement of isolation ward for COVID-19 patients and an attempt to forge medical documents to prove that the victim was under psychiatric treatment.
The charge-sheet points out towards mismanagement and lack of supervision of isolation ward and no recording of vital parameters of the patients such as blood pressure and sugar.
“The fact that the medical superintendent went on record making statements against the Secretary (Health), the police and the district administration also went against him as the service rules do not allow any government employee to indulge in such an act, especially when an inquiry is under way,” said sources.
The charge-sheet order also clearly mentions that an attempt was made to forge documents to show that the victim was under treatment with the psychiatry department, which was found to be untrue. The hospital staff also faces the charge of not delivering the medicines and other items of personal use to the patients in the COVID ward, which were delivered at the gate by their family members.
The inquiry report has the statements of the family members, including the son of the woman, who said his mother was not given blood pressure medicines and the water bottle delivered for her at the gate at 11 am, reached her at 7 pm and she kept asking for water from her family members on the phone, before hanging herself at around midnight.
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