Begin typing your search above and press return to search.
Homechevron_rightOpinionchevron_rightEditorialchevron_rightWhat is the remedy for...

What is the remedy for this negligence?

What is the remedy for this negligence?

Keralites are used to taking pride in the 'Kerala Health Model,' which has achieved many global benchmarks in the healthcare sector. Whether it is life expectancy or infant and maternal mortality rates, Kerala is undoubtedly far ahead of other states in all parameters. After the formation of the united Kerala, the rulers here succeeded in building a systematic and people-centric healthcare system, setting a healthcare model different from other states and comparable to those in developed countries as far as possible. It was a true model that could be called enlightened. However, this 'enlightenment' has been facing a major decline in recent times. The quality of the people's health model is often measured by the efficiency of the three-tier hospital system and medical colleges. However, many incidents have proven that these systems have become victims of negligence and apathy. The recent incident of a four-year-old girl undergoing organ transplantation at the Kozhikode Medical College Hospital cannot be described as anything less than negligence or apathy. The state's health machinery and the health workers there have weakened to such an extent to be a blot on the health model.

Before the controversy surrounding the scissors left in a patient's abdomen during surgery at Kozhikode Medical College had subsided, another serious medical error was reported. At the Institute of Maternal & Child Health, a team led by an associate professor performed surgery on a four-year-old girl's tongue instead of her extra sixth finger. When the incident came to the attention of the child's parents, the doctors tried to evade responsibility by giving bizarre excuses. Initially, they claimed that the child had a problem with her tongue, which was corrected through minor surgery. Later, when cornered, they admitted their mistake, apologized, and agreed to perform the necessary corrective surgery. Subsequently, an investigation was ordered, and the doctor responsible was suspended at the behest of the health minister. This incident cannot be simply classified as a 'medical error.' It is a matter of gross negligence and carelessness towards a patient, especially a four-year-old child. The surgery was decided upon after the child was examined in the OPD days in advance, and all the necessary tests were conducted. In other words, the doctor had all the child's medical records. It is clear that the surgery was performed on the wrong organ without even conducting a basic examination. Even if the doctor's fabricated story about the child's tongue problem were true, how could the doctor perform surgery without the knowledge or consent of the parents? In short, the doctor, hospital authorities, and the health department all confessed to their mistake and took action only when they had no other choice.

Also Read:Scissors in stomach: Kerala police arrest doctor, 2 nurses, let off on bail

Medical negligence, which can lead to serious illnesses and the need for urgent treatment, is not a trivial issue that can be resolved with mere suspensions. Kozhikode Medical College Hospital has become a hub for such goof-ups. The story of Harshina, a young woman who had scissors left in her abdomen during a cesarean section, began at this very hospital. The health department's stance has been to protect the doctors who are at fault in such cases. Later, the authorities showed great cruelty towards a patient who was assaulted in the ICU and betrayed the healthcare worker who supported the survivor. Even when such errors occur repeatedly, the health department has been found to take sides with the offenders, not the victims. This will erode public trust in public health systems. These are the health institutions that the most vulnerable in society primarily depend on. The government should recognize that when these institutions become breeding grounds for negligence and apathy, it is the lives of ordinary people that are put at risk. This incident, which occurred in a government hospital, made news and prompted action. However, many similar and even more serious incidents occur in private hospitals too without being properly reported. The truth is that if anyone questions this, they will be silenced using the loopholes in the new hospital protection law. This too exists another crisis in the health sector. In short, the solution to such 'maladies' lies in a comprehensive legislation that protects patient rights.

Show Full Article
TAGS:Medical NegligenceEditorialKozhikode Medical Collegesurgery on tongue
Next Story