High-level committee conducts inquiry at Govt. Rajaji Hospital in Madurai over maternal deaths

High-level committee conducts inquiry at Govt. Rajaji Hospital in Madurai over maternal deaths

3rd October 2023 0 By Abdul Qadeer
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A high-level committee on Monday, October 2, 2022 conducted an inquiry at the Government Rajaji Hospital (GRH) in Madurai in connection with alleged maternal deaths. The inquiry lasted over five hours.

A team, comprising Additional Director of Medical Education Shantharam, Additional Director of Public Health Nirmalson, District Revenue Officer cadre – National Health Mission Palanikumar and retired gynaecologists Shoba and Rathinakumar of the National Health Mission conducted the inquiry. GRH Dean A. Rathinavel and other doctors were present.

On September 20, following an audit of two maternal deaths, Madurai Collector M.S. Sangeetha wrote to Health Secretary Gagandeep Singh Bedi, recommending that the GRH Dean be instructed to suspend the medical officer involved.

In her communication, the Collector said two maternal deaths were reported on September 2 and September 5, respectively, at the GRH. The maternal death of Semmalar was audited on September 3, and that of Kuppi was audited on September 7, in the presence of medical officers.

The Collector said there had been a fabrication of case sheets and medical records at the GRH. Even after the instruction to suspend the medical officer involved was issued, no action was taken, she said.

A third maternal death was reported at the GRH – Thilagavathi died on September 29. It is suspected to be a case of dengue. It was alleged that a team led by the City Health Officer (CHO) Vinothkumar had collected samples at the hospital.

Meanwhile, Tamil Nadu Government Doctors’ Association (TNGDA) president K. Senthil, in a press meet, alleged that false news was being spread about the GRH and demanded suspension of the CHO for his “high-handed behaviour” at the OG Department.

He said that GRH was an educational institution. Postgraduate students and House Surgeons made notes and entries in case sheets. Doctors checked the case slips and notes, and later, corrections were made. He claimed that there was no fabrication of records. Corrections were made only to case notes and not on the records.

The Collector, he said, was misled, and she could have referred the matter to the State Level Committee comprising experts and let the team decide, instead of recommending the suspension of the medical officer, he said.

The association would stage a demonstration demanding the suspension of the CHO, he added.

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