Deputy Chief Minister Francis D’Souza, who is also Health Minister, assured the family members and some relatives of Rakshanda Sheikh, who died due to alleged medical negligence, that a detailed inquiry is being conducted by Health Secretary and the role of each staff member concerned will be examined, and if found guilty strict action will be taken.
Family members and relatives of Rakshanda along with a social worker Firoz Khan and others met the Deputy Chief Minister on Wednesday to voice their grievances.
The family members complained that they lost the teenager due to delay in proper treatment at the Mapusa district hospital, and refusal by hospital staff members of Goa Medical College to treat her due to the non-availability of ventilator.
The family alleged that time was wasted in shifting the patient.
Mother of Rakshanda informed the Health Minister that “when district hospital staff asked us to shift her to the GMC, we were made to wait for half an hour as an ambulance was called from Panaji despite ambulances were parked at the hospital. And, hence more than one hour was wasted. Similarly, when the GMC hospital staff refused to admit her, we had to go to private hospital in Mapusa and take a ambulance and come to Bambolim and carry her back. In this, again around two hours were wasted.”
She further added that “the doctors did not inform us about the sickness my daughter was suffering from, and also a blood report was misplaced by the district hospital staff.”
The family members also alleged that Rakshanda was ill-treated even by lower-rung staff.
Stating that a similar situation could happen with anyone, Firoz Khan requested the Deputy Chief Minister to look into the matter so that in future no life is lost because of the negligence on the part of the hospital staff.
After hearing the grievances of the family members, D’Souza assured everyone present that “action will be taken against the guilty even to the extent of filing criminal offence,” and informed that Health Secretary is already conducting a detailed inquiry into the matter.
A copy of medical report was submitted to the Health Minister, and after going through it, he said that “she was suffering from vivax malaria which does lead to death, and she also had swelling in her lungs. The two factors together could have been the cause of her death.”
“But our major problem is that the body has been already disposed of and hence there is no possibility of conducting an autopsy to know what actually went wrong,” said D’Souza.