Mumbai: Report nails police doctor who gave jaggery treatment to diabetic patient

States that the death of the SRPF cook admitted in Nagpada hospital last year was due to tuberculosis pneumonia, for which the doctor administered no treatment

A doctor at the Nagpada Police Hospital, who has come under scrutiny for the death of a State Reserve Police Force (SRPF) cook during treatment at the facility last December, has been nailed by the histopathology (biopsy) report from JJ Hospital’s post-mortem examination centre.

Booba Poojari (inset) was admitted to the Nagpada Police Hospital for weakness on December 3, 2015. File pic
Booba Poojari (inset) was admitted to the Nagpada Police Hospital for weakness on December 3, 2015. File pic

mid-day had on May 26 reported that Dr GK Sanap, MD (medicine) and medical officer at the police hospital, allegedly ignored police surgeon Dr SM Patil’s recommendation to shift the cook to JJ Hospital or Bombay Hospital, and administered blood transfusions twice — despite orders against it — and also introduced jaggery in the diabetic patient’s diet.

A probe was conducted by an internal committee from the police hospital in April on the orders of the deputy director of health services, Thane.

The report, which the committee received on June 9, concluded that the death was caused by tuberculosis pneumonia, for which no treatment was provided by Dr Sanap. A senior forensic surgeon attached to JJ Hospital’s post-mortem examination centre confirmed this.

A doctor privy to the histopathology report told mid-day that the report, prepared on May 4, listed three major findings — tuberculosis pneumonia, cirrhosis of the liver and pancreatitis. It was submitted to the hospital’s department of forensic medicine for preparation of the cause of death report, which was then given to the committee on June 9.

After the report was submitted, a disciplinary committee, headed by the civil surgeon, was formed last week to look into Dr Sanap’s alleged negligence.

Panel’s verdict awaited
Dr Ratna Raokande, deputy director of health services, Thane, who had ordered the probe, said all reports, including the one from an expert committee from Nagpada Police Hospital, have been submitted. “Prima facie, they all point to an act of negligence. But, as per the norms, we have put up the case before the district negligence committee, which comes under the civil surgeon, and only it will decide if there was an act of negligence or a delay in providing treatment to the patient. The report [from the committee] is expected in 10-15 days. Only on the basis of its final report will action be taken as per the rules.”

Ashok Morale, superintendent of police, Hingoli, who was the SRPF commandant when Poojari died, said, “The truth will come out in the final inquiry report. Serious cognisance should be taken against the doctor concerned, if any negligence is found in the line of treatment. We visit the police hospital having reposed full faith in the doctors there. If questions about the ability of a doctor there are being raised, it calls for a probe.”

The Nagpada Police Hospital is the nodal health centre for the police force in Byculla.

Sanjay Baswat, senior inspector, Nagpada police station, said, “We had only registered an accidental death report following Poojari’s demise. If the competent authority sends the necessary papers to the police station for further probe, I will ask my officers to investigate it. So far, I haven’t got any paper.”

Voices

Dr S M Patil, police surgeon, whose orders on shifting the patient elsewhere and against administering blood transfusions were ignored
The autopsy and histopathology reports have indicated an act of negligence. As the appointment of medical officers are done at the police hospital by the director of health services, I have submitted all the statements and reports to the officials concerned. They will take the necessary action as per the norms. I have informed my superiors about the development.

Dr GK Sanap, medical officer who treated Booba Poojari
I do not want to speak on this subject.

Quick recall
The cook, Booba Poojari (48), reportedly an alcoholic, had served as an assistant cook with SRPF Group B for over 20 years. On December 3 last year, he was admitted for weakness to the police hospital under the care of Dr Sanap. Six days later, he was declared dead. His body was sent to JJ Hospital for an autopsy and the Nagpada police registered an accidental death report. Soon after, a letter was sent to the chief minister, requesting a high-level probe into the matter. The matter went into cold storage, but in April, the deputy director of health services, Thane, ordered a probe into the death.

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