PESHAWAR: The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Health Department on Friday ordered another inquiry to ‘fix responsibility’ for the death of transgender activist Alisha from gunshots in Lady Reading Hospital last month and sought a report within 10 days.
The health department notified an inquiry committee comprising Prof Dr Roohul Muqeem of Khyber Teaching Hospital as its chairman, Prof Dr Ameer Khan of Bacha Khan Medical Complex, Mardan, and Prof Dr Hakeem Afridi of KTH as members, and Motasim Billah Shah, additional secretary health department, as its coordinator.The inquiry committee was formed in pursuance of the report submitted by the fact-finding committee on the death of Alisha in LRH on May 26, 2016. The 10-page report also accompanies a 10-page dissenting note of the health department whereas two doctor members have recommended action against senior doctors for failing to do their duty.
The fact-finding committee had also pointed out some administrative lapses pertaining to the absence of the consultant in the Accident and Emergency Department of LRH and internal exchange of duties by the doctors, said the notification explaining the terms of reference set for the inquiry committee.
Probe committee also to fix responsibility for the deathThe inquiry committee would be looking at the referral of Alisha to and from various sections/units in the hospital, the initial treatment of the patient in trauma and OT of the A&E Department by the two medical officers, especially in the light of the SOPs/protocols for a patient with firearms injuries in abdomen and other organs.
The inquiry committee as per TORs would also be probing overall management of the said patient in the light of standard guidelines as well as fix responsibility along with giving recommendations, said the notification issued on Friday by the health department.The TransAction Alliance, an alliance of the civil society and transgender people in the province, had earlier alleged that 25-year-old Alisha, shot and injured, was denied male and female ward by the staff at the LRH when she was brought to the emergency on May 23. Farzana, Alisha’s attendant and transgender herself, had accused the hospital staff of mistreating them with bias due to their gender and appearance.
In the initial fact-finding report, the committee members Motasim Billah and Dr Zafar Iqbal not only attached their dissenting note, but also expressed their disagreement with the conclusion of the report.Two members, Dr Sher Ali and Zulfiqar Ali, had recommended disciplinary action against the senior doctors who left the patients without proper treatment.The two members also did not agree with the fact-finding report’s conclusion because instead of fixing responsibility for loss of life, the conclusions focused more on recommendations for medical staff about their duties.The fact-finding committee, however, also demanded further inquiry to include representatives from legal fraternity, police forensics and experts in firearm injuries to arrive at whether the cause of death was result of mismanagement/negligence at the hospital.“Whether segregation is required for transgender is a legal issue,” said the fact-finding report in its conclusion leaving the issue of ward for transgender people unresolved though transgender activists complained they were denied admission in both male and female wards by the hospital.Alisha, shot by her displeased partner and badly injured, faced discrimination at the province’s oldest and biggest public sector hospital.The protests by transgender activists on the death of Alisha not only forced the police to arrest her alleged killer by a special task team within 12 hours of its formation, but it was also for the first time that funeral of the transgender activist was held publicly.