KARACHI: The Sindh Health Care Commission (SHCC) sealed the Out-patient Department of the Darul Sehat Hospital (DSH) on Wednesday night, besides ordering the hospital management to transfer all the in-house patients to other medical facilities with 48 hours.
The action came following the directives of the chief minister, who had earlier expressed reservations over the report submitted by the commission regarding the case of Nashwa, the minor girl who passed away after being administered the wrong medication at a private hospital earlier this month. Meanwhile, a statement issued by the DSH, where the incident took place, took exception to the chief minister’s “directives to take over the management and seal the hospital”.
“I am not satisfied with the report and even the health minister has expressed her reservations over it,” said the chief minister, adding that strict action would be taken against the doctors involved in the incident.
As the SHCC team, along with a contingent of police personnel and area assistant commissioner, reached the DSH, they were met with resistance from the hospital staff, who shouted slogans and attempted to stop the officials from entering the premises. The protesting staff were faced off by citizens, who were calling on the officials to seal the facility.
According to an SHCC official, there were 45 in-house patients admitted to the hospital when the team reached the premises.
The report, released by the SHCC on Tuesday, concluded that Nashwa was wrongly administered an injection at Darul Sehat Hospital (DUSH) which “proved to be lethal for her”. The report has found Midwife Sobia and Nursing Assistant Moiz “responsible for negligence”. Their case should be referred to the Nursing and Midwifery Council for disciplinary action, it suggested. It also held the DUSH “liable for medical negligence” and recommended a Rs500,000 penalty on the hospital. “DUHS administration should immediately remove all untrained staff,” it added.
The CM said that the health commission had mentioned in its report that more than 50% of the staff at the hospital was untrained. “This is a serious matter and cannot be tolerated,” he said. Shah said that the persons nominated in the FIR registered by Qaiser Ali, Nashwa’s father, would be arrested. “This is not a question of influential or privileged people. The law will take its course,” he stressed.
The chief minister made these remarks after meeting Qaiser Ali to offer his condolences over his daughter’s death. He was accompanied by health minister Dr Azra Pechuho, Information Adviser Barrister Murtaza Wahab, Police IG Dr Imam, Karachi Commissioner Iftikhar Shallwani and other officials. “I am really sorry that despite our serious efforts, we could not save Nashwa,” he told Ali. “We know she can’t return now, but we must ensure that no such incident takes place again,” he added.
For his part, Ali complained that some persons nominated in the FIR have not been arrested yet. On this, the chief minister directed the police chief to arrest the remaining accused and keep the victim’s family abreast of the day-to-day progress in the case.
Asmat Khanejo case
The chief minister also visited the family of Asmat Khanejo, the 26-year-old woman who was allegedly raped and killed at The Sindh Government Hospital Korangi.
Speaking to the media after visit in Ibrahim Hyderi, the CM said that that the Medical Superintendent of the said hospital has been suspended and strict action would be taken against the staff and the doctors involved in the murder.
Asmat Khanejo, a resident of Ibrahim Hyderi, had gone to the public health facility, complaining of toothache, last week. But she died after being administrated a suspicious injection.
Her family claimed she was sexually assaulted by the hospital staff before being killed.
On Wednesday, the CM, flanked by the health minister, information adviser and other officials, visited the victim’s family, where he assured them that the perpetrators would be brought to justice.
Meanwhile, Asmat’s family told the chief minister that the doctors nominated in their complaint had not been arrested yet and one of them was even making appearances on news channels, defending himself and leveling allegation against the deceased and her family members.
The chief minister directed the police chief to register the FIR based on the statement of the aggrieved family members. He also took exception with news channels for “inviting controversial people” on their talk shows.
The CM said that he had ordered the commissioner to conduct a staff audit of all the private hospitals to ascertain how many trained and untrained staff they had hired for technical work and how many medical cases were handled by these hospitals, for which they had no expertise.
The CM said that doctors were human beings and could make mistakes by giving wrong treatment to a patient, but there was a clear difference between mistakes and criminal negligence. “We are investigating both the cases – Baby Nashwa’s and Miss Asmat’s and criminal negligence, if found, would not be tolerated,” he concluded.