By Mukhtar Alam
KARACHI: The Sindh health minister constituted on Monday a three-member inquiry committee to inquire into the cause of the death of a pregnant woman at the Sindh government hospital, Liaquatabad, who allegedly died because of doctors’ negligence. The young woman was expecting her first baby.
The health minister also suspended resident medical officer Dr Ayesha Zahidi, transferred the medical superintendent of the hospital, Dr Shaheen Hasnain, and issued a show-cause notice to the head of the gynaecology department, Dr Salma, over the death.
An additional secretary of the health department, Dr Shireen Narejo, gynecologist Dr Uzma Khalid and acting MS of the hospital Dr Khalid Jameel are members of the committee.
Earlier in the day, relatives of the woman staged a protest demonstration at the hospital against the alleged negligence of the staff. They claimed that the woman was having labour pains and died as the relevant staff did not attend to her properly.
The woman, Shahida, wife of Furqan, living at Liaquatabad 8, was admitted to hospital on Sunday night. She had been visiting the hospital for prenatal check-ups and was expected to deliver a baby in the last week of July, said a source.
The protesters said the woman in labour had been crying for hours during the night, but the doctors did not provide her necessary treatment.
The protesting relatives and area people manhandled a couple of staff and staged a sit-in at the hospital.
Later, on a directive of the provincial health minister, Dr Sagheer Ahmad, senior officials including the secretary, special secretary and a deputy secretary of the health department reached the hospital to calm the enraged people, urging them to disperse as the health department had decided to investigate the matter.
Relatives claimed that the woman was brought to hospital well in time and it was the negligence of the hospital staff that caused her death.
However, the doctors explained to the high-ups that the woman did not show symptoms requiring an emergency exercise in the night and it was decided that a cesarean-section delivery would be done in the morning when senior doctors would also be available.Dr Sagheer Ahmed also directed senior doctors in government hospitals to be regular and punctual for prompt treatment of patients, particularly women and children, and improve the image of government hospital doctors, said a handout.