Woman gives birth to baby in Jinnah Hospital’s mosque washroom after gynaecologists allegedly deny treatment

Updated 28 Feb 2020

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MS orders inquiry after patient’s husband cried out against apathy of doctors. — AFP/File
MS orders inquiry after patient’s husband cried out against apathy of doctors. — AFP/File

LAHORE: A poor woman delivered baby in the washroom of a mosque after gynaecologists allegedly denied her treatment at the Jinnah Hospital “for not bringing test reports from a private lab of choice”.

Asifa Hammad was twice brought to the Jinnah Hospital but the gynaecologists refused to admit her without having her blood tests done from a ‘specified private laboratory’ located right in front of the Jinnah Hospital.

Driver by profession, Hammad took his wife to the hospital around 2am on Thursday due to her serious condition. As the doctors denied her treatment, she gave birth to the baby in the washroom of the mosque on the premises of the health facility.

The incident once again exposed apathy of medical practitioners that has been one of the major factors behind poor healthcare delivery to people.

MS orders inquiry after patient’s husband cried out against apathy of doctors

“As my wife’s condition worsened at home, I took her to the Jinnah Hospital’s labour room in the wee hours on Thursday,” Hammad, a resident of Barkat Market, told Dawn. He said it was his second visit to the hospital to get treatment for complications she faced during the last two days.

“A few minutes after I left her in the labour room, I saw my wife crying and weeping outside the room,” he said. On inquiry, she said, the on-duty lady doctor misbehaved with her for not bringing test reports from the specified private lab she had suggested for the purpose.

As his wife argued that her husband was unable to afford expensive tests from the private lab and insisted on having these done from the hospital, the doctor got annoyed and called the guard to take her out of the labour room, he said.

When he visited the local market, he said, another private lab showed willingness to perform same tests for Rs5,000 but the doctors refused to accept its reports. The lab the duty doctors were referring to were asking for Rs11,500 for the tests, bemoaned Hammad.

“I then called a friend to borrow money to get the tests done from the private lab,” he said, adding that his friend asked him to collect money from him at 9am. He said when he tried to take his wife back home, she suggested him not to take any risk due to complications.

“I decided to take her to a private hospital for treatment but she felt pain and gave birth to a baby girl who suffered injury on head. I called police through 15 for help fearing that the doctors may again treat my wife inhumanly and officials came there and had her admitted.”

Answering a question, Hammad claimed that the duty doctors seemed to be interested in the commission. He regretted that the doctors treated her wife inhumanly despite the fact that she was a registered patient of the gynae unit and had regularly been visiting the health facility.

“We have taken serious notice on the complaint of the attendant and issued new standard operating procedures that no doctor would prescribe tests from any private lab,” Medical Superintendent

Dr Yahya Sultan told this reporter. He said the gynae emergency had been providing entire treatment including all kinds of test facilities absolutely free of cost and the hospital’s employees including doctors and nurses were fully aware of the policy.

“We feel sorry for the attendant and the patient who suffered problems and in order to fix responsibility I have constituted a three-member committee,” Dr Yahya said. Associate professors Dr Saima and Dr Ahsan Naseem were members of the committee besides nursing superintendent Mrs Tahira.

He said the committee had been directed to submit report within 48 hours in order to punish those responsible for the incident if any.

He said the condition of both the baby and mother was stable and a ban had also been imposed on the entry of representatives of the private laboratories at the Jinnah Hospital.

Published in Dawn, February 28th, 2020