CM orders audit of private hospital staffers to ascertain their expertise

Updated April 25, 2019

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Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah condoles with the families of Nashwa (right) and Ismat on Wednesday.
Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah condoles with the families of Nashwa (right) and Ismat on Wednesday.

KARACHI: Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah said on Wednesday that the medical superintendent of the Sindh Government Hospital, Korangi, had been suspended and action against the staff and doctors reportedly involved in the murder of Ismat would also be taken.

He also directed the inspector general of police to register an FIR according to the statement of the aggrieved family members and ordered the commissioner of Karachi to conduct a staff audit of all private hospitals to ascertain how much trained and untrained staff they had hired for technical work and how many medical cases those hospitals had dealt with for which they had no expertise.

The chief minister stated this while talking to the media at Ibrahim Haideri where he went with Health Minister Dr Azra Pechuho, Adviser Murtaza Wahab and IGP Dr Kaleem Imam to offer condolence with family members of Ismat, an alleged rape-cum-poisoning victim. They told the chief minister that the doctors they had nominated in their complaint had not been arrested and one of them appeared on news channels to defend himself and level allegations against the deceased person and her family members.

Condoles with families of Nashwa, Ismat

The chief minister assuring the family that justice would be provided to them and slammed the news channels for inviting controversial individuals in their talk shows.

Earlier while talking to the media just after offering condolence with the father of Nashwa at Gulistan-i-Jauhar, the chief minister said: “I am not satisfied with the report filed by the health commission; even the health minister has shown her reservation over it.”

‘Over 50pc hospital staff untrained

In reply to a question, he said the health commission had mentioned in its report that more than 50 per cent of the staff of the hospital was untrained. “This is a serious matter and it cannot be tolerated,” he said.

The chief minister said that the persons nominated in the FIR registered by Nashwa’s father, Qaiser Ali, would be arrested. “This is not a question of influential or privileged people, but the law will take its own course,” he said and added that he had directed the IGP to ensure arrest of all the wanted people.

When Qaiser Ali said that some people nominated in the FIRs had not been arrested, the chief minister directed the IGP to arrest the remaining accused and keep the victim family abreast of the day-to-day progress of the case.

DNA samples of two doctors taken

DNA samples of two doctors were taken in the alleged rape-cum-poisoning case of Ismat at the Korangi government hospital on April 18, officials said on Wednesday.

The Ibrahim Haideri police late on Tuesday night brought an ENT surgeon, one of the accused in the case, to the JPMC to fulfil legal formalities.

The accused doctor had already got protective bail from a local court, which has also directed him to cooperate with the investigators in the investigation of the case.

Additional police surgeon of the JPMC Dr Sheeraz Ali Khowaja told Dawn that DNA samples of the doctors had been taken, which would be sent to the relevant laboratory. He added that DNA samples of three other held accused persons were taken three days back.

According to the hospital official, the accused doctor claimed that the victim had got her teeth extracted recently and took antibiotic drugs for several days, due to which she suffered a throat infection.

A senior police officer, who wished not to be named, told Dawn that the police had also got DNA samples of another doctor, though he was nominated in the case at the JPMC. The family had accused him of harassment in the recent past. Both doctors have ‘voluntarily’ given their DNA samples, said the officer.

The police officer said that the deceased girl had worked at a unit of a famous private hospital inside the government hospital in Korangi for a few months where one of the accused had allegedly terminated her services.

The officer said that they had sent the DNA samples to an official laboratory located in Jamshoro whose findings were expected within the next two weeks. The officer, sharing initial findings of the case, said that the ENT surgeon had recommended four injections for the treatment of the infection of the woman. The woman, instead of going to the laboratory or emergency section, went to the unit of the hospital where she had worked recently.

The technician administered a 5cc injection when her health deteriorated and she complained but the technician was ‘untrained’. He administered another injection, that caused her to collapse apparently due to its reaction and she died.

The family claimed that she was drugged, raped and poisoned to death by the doctor and the paramedical staff.

Another hospital staffer held in Nashwa case

The Sharea Faisal police on Wednesday detained another staff member of Darul Sehat Hospital in Gulistan-i-Jauhar, where nine-month-old Nashwa died from health complications arising out of alleged wrong treatment recently, police said.

“Waleed, security in-charge of the hospital has been detained for interrogation,” said a senior police officer.

The investigators also called a doctor of the hospital for recording his statement in the case. The officer clarified that the doctor had not been detained.

Four staff members of the hospital, including a woman, have already been arrested on charges of attempted murder of the infant.

The Sindh Healthcare Commission on Tuesday submitted its inquiry report about the death of Nashwa on a complaint of her father.

According to findings of the inquiry, injection potassium chloride (KCL) was wrongly administered by nursing assistant Moiz. Instead of adding it to a 500cc drip, he injected the injection directly intravenously, due to which Nashwa collapsed. As a result, her brain was damaged.

The SHCC recommended that the cases of midwife concerned Sobia and nursing assistant Moiz (both detained) should be sent to their respective regulatory councils for disciplinary action.

It pointed out that the hospital had 165 nursing staff.

“The untrained nursing staff should be immediately suspended and terminated and the in-charge of recruitment should be terminated.”

The commission termed the death of the baby as “an act of grave negligence by the duty nursing staff” and recommended a fine of Rs500,000 on the hospital as per the rules.

Published in Dawn, April 25th, 2019