Apparently, doctors at Katni district hospital take their meetings very seriously. Nothing – not even a medical emergency – can force them to walk out of one.
In yet another incident of medical negligence in Madhya Pradesh, a 23-year-old woman was reportedly forced to deliver her infant in a makeshift tent of sarees outside the government medical institute on Friday just because its doctors were too busy attending a meeting.
Sources said when Ramadevi went into labour that day, her husband — Raghvendra — called the 108 Janani Suraksha ambulance. They soon reached the district hospital, only to find that not a single doctor or nurse was on duty.
About half an hour later, Raghvendra came to know that the doctors were in the middle of a meeting, and there was no attendant to help them. Hearing Ramadevi’s screams, who was left in the ambulance for over an hour, other women patients at the hospital carried her out of the vehicle. They then created a makeshift tent with sarees, and helped the woman deliver the baby outside the hospital.
It was only after the procedure was over that the nurses arrived at the scene and took the mother and her newborn inside.
However, hospital in charge Dr Umesh Namdev denied the allegations.
“Dr Rajendra Thakur was present in the emergency ward while the meeting was on,” said Dr Namdev. “In fact, the local women were very reluctant to let us handle the delivery. As soon as the matter came to my notice, I sent a few staffers to admit the mother and the infant to the hospital. They are doing fine now.”
When contacted, health minister Rustam Singh said, “I am unaware of the incident, and will address the issue later. I am busy right now.”
The incident came barely 10 days after a similar case of medical negligence was reported in the state on July 5, when a 65-year-old woman was forced to commandeer a cycle-rickshaw to ensure that her neighbour reached the district hospital on time to deliver her baby. Their efforts to hail a 108 Janani Suraksha van had gone in vain.