LAHORE: The Pakistan Medical and Dental Council (PMDC) has held Doctors Hospital, Lahore, responsible for the death of three-year-old Imanae Malik and fined Rs100,000 for negligence.

The tragic incident had occurred on Nov 29, 2009.

The council has also cancelled registration of an Indian doctor, Dr Sandeep Kumar, who had allegedly administered three injections to the girl for her minor arm burn wounds. She could not survive and breathed her last while being shifted to Children’s Hospital.

The national media had given a wide coverage to the death of Imanae Malik at the provincial capital’s prominent private hospital.

The then chief justice of the Lahore High Court and the Punjab chief minister had ordered a probe into the high profile case and to fix responsibility on real culprits.

Another serious issue of the mushroom growth of private hospitals was also highlighted to an extent that the government had to establish the Punjab Health Care Commission in order to regulate both public and private health facilities in the province.

Imposes fine of only Rs100,000; cancels registration of Indian doctor

The incident had happened six years back and the PMDC has considered only Rs100,000 fine against the hospital that caused the death of the girl due to sheer negligence.

The letter addressed to the executive officer of Doctors Hospital and Medical Centre, Johar Town, Lahore, stated that the case was heard by a disciplinary committee of the PMDC on April 18, 2015, at Avari Hotel, Lahore. A copy of the letter is available with Dawn.

It said Doctors Hospital’s director administrator Dr Zahid appeared before the committee on behalf of the hospital management along with all the record containing information of the standard operating procedure of the emergency unit of his health facility.

“The committee after detailed deliberation has recommended that the registration licence of Dr Sandeep Kumar shall be suspended till his appearance before the committee.

Your hospital will be inspected by a team of inspectors which shall be communicated to you later. You are directed to submit a sum of Rs100,000 in favour of the council as a fine for being responsible for this sad incident which could have been avoided if the hospital management was vigilant in its administration,” it stated.

The PMDC further communicated to Doctors Hospital that the executive committee in its meeting held on April 25 at Karachi has approved recommendations of the council’s disciplinary committee.

Earlier, the two high-profile committees and police investigations had also held nine officials of this private hospital guilty of negligence which led to the death of Imanae Malik.

An inquiry was conducted by a committee comprising pediatric surgeon Prof Dr Mahmood Shaukat (chairman of the committee) and Dr Ghulam Shabbir and MPA Dr Asad Ashraf (members).

The committee had been constituted by the then chief justice of the Lahore High Court on March 12, 2009. The then chief minister had also formed another committee the same day which comprised convener Dr Nazar Chohan, Dr Asad Ashraf and Dr Mushtaq Ahmad Sulehari. Dr Asad was common in both boards of inquiries.

Later, then DIG (Investigation) Chaudhry Zulfiqar Hameed had investigated the case which was lodged under Section 322 of PPC at the Johar Town police station.

The police investigations had declared that out of all the accused in the case, general manager Zia Bokhari, Dr Mubeen Afzal and record keeper Shehbaz Ahmad were found guilty of the offence under Section 201/420 of the PPC; Board of Directors chairman Dr Javed Asghar, chief executive Dr Ghazanfer Ali Shah and consultant (pediatrics) Dr Tariq Rafiq were found guilty of offence under Section 322 of the PPC while Dr Sundeep Kumar, staff nurse Fehmida and Dr Ghulam Yaseen were found guilty of the offence under Section 319 of the PPC.

The report had been submitted before the Lahore High Court. Of them Dr Tariq was declared innocent.

Later, during a trial of the criminal case, the sessions court had acquitted Dr Javed Asghar and Dr GA Shah of the charges.

Published in Dawn, May 7th, 2015

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