A doctor and three nurses of the Tumakuru District Hospital in Karnataka were suspended for negligence on Friday after a pregnant woman and her twin babies died, PTI reported.
The woman, identified as Kasturi, was allegedly denied treatment at the hospital on Wednesday night as she was not carrying an Aadhaar card or a maternity card issued by the Karnataka government for free treatment of pregnant women.
Even as she was suffering from labour pain, the doctor and the hospital staff suggested that she should go to Victoria Hospital in Bengaluru.
Kasturi, however, returned to her home as she could not arrange money to hire ambulance to travel to Bengaluru. She delivered early on Thursday morning and bled profusely after giving birth to a male baby, and died before the second child was born.
Karnataka Health Minister K Sudhakar on Friday said he has ordered an investigation and stern action in the case. “This is dereliction of duty,” he said. “They behaved inhumanly. I am shocked by this incident. So, four people have been suspended.”
The minister also stressed that it is the duty of hospital staff and doctors to treat patients in emergency situations instead of asking for documents . The state government has made this directive clear through several orders, Sudhakar said.
“I urge doctors and hospital staff to take appropriate measures to make sure that such incidents never repeat in future,” he added.
Tumakuru District Health Officer DN Manjunath admitted that to lapses in the matter, The Indian Express reported. “She should have been admitted and treated,” Manjunath said.
Janata Dal (Secualar) leader HD Kumaraswamy sought the resignation of Sudhakar. “The incident has made the entire state bow its head in shame,” he said.
The Congress also criticised the health minister, asking if the maternity card was more important than the treating the woman. “Life matters, or rules?” the party asked.
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