Pregnant tribal woman dies, medical negligence alleged

08 July, 2016

ROURKELA:  ANOTHER death of a poor pregnant tribal woman due to allegedmedical negligence has brought the miserable state of healthcare services in Bonai sub-division of Sundargarh district to the fore.  The victim, identified as Raj Kumari Minz (32) of Imilibahal village in Gurundia block, about  80 km from Rourkela, was admitted to Bonai Sub-Divisional Hospital (BSDH) on Wednesday morning after she developed labour  pain. In the absence of Government ambulance, she was taken to BSDH in a private vehicle. At the BSDH, doctors were not available due to Rath Yatra, but  she was kept there for hours and at the last moment, she was referred to Rourkela Government Hospital (RGH). She died on her way, the victim’s husband Jalthen  Minz said.

Doctors at RGH confirmed  that the pregnant woman was brought dead to the hospital in the evening. Later, Jalthen lodged a complaint with Gurundia police  alleging medical negligence. Gurundia police station IIC NK Sarangi said the autopsy was done at Rourkela and the body  was handed over to her family. An unnatural death case has  been registered and investigation is on, he added.

The incident comes close on  the heels of death of another poor pregnant tribal woman, Jiramani Mundari, of Gurundia block in mid-June. Blaming medical  negligence at BSDH for her death, her husband had lodged a case under IPC Section 304 (causing death due to negligence) at  Gurundia police station. On instruction of police, the Bonai SDMO assured to conduct an internal inquiry. But the report  is yet to be submitted to Gurundia police.

Similarly, in December last year, another pregnant tribal  woman, Sunaphul Dharua (25), was admitted to Sarsara Community Health Centre (CHC) of Bonai sub-division and later  died at the BSDH. Her family members had staged a protest alleging medical negligence.  While the Bonai SDMO did not respond to repeated phone calls, the Sundargarh Chief District Medical Officer (CDMO) was out  of reach.