Dhule woman's death: Women and Child Welfare Dept seeks expert opinion

Updated: Jun 06, 2019, 07:59 IST | Vinod Kumar Menon | Mumbai

Has asked a former head and professor of obstetrics and gynaecology at BJ Medical College for her say on inquiry report of District Health Officer, Dhule, in the death of Rekha Marathe at KEM Hospital on April 20

Rekha Marathe. (Right) Rekha's husband, with their two children. File pic
Rekha Marathe. (Right) Rekha's husband, with their two children. File pic

The Women and Child Welfare Department, Pune, has sought the expert opinion of Dr Aparna Shrotri, retired head and professor of obstetrics and gynaecology at BJ Medical College, Pune, on the inquiry report of the District Health Officer, Dhule, in the case of Rekha Marathe, before the final report is submitted to the state government. Rekha was taken from Dhule to Mumbai for treatment and died at the civic-run KEM hospital on April 20, after being shifted from Parel's Global Hospital where she was allegedly not treated over lack of funds.

mid-day in the article, Dhule woman's death: state orders probe, on May 18 had said that the state health minister has ordered a probe into the death of Rekha. After a preliminary inquiry by Dr Manik Sangle, civil surgeon, Dhule, the case was transferred to Dr Sudhakar More, District Health Officer (DHO), Dhule, who submitted his report to Dr Archana Patil, Additional Director, Women and Child Welfare Department, Pune, last week.

Interestingly, when contacted, Dr Sangle said, "Preliminary inquiries have revealed that the deceased's husband Govind and her relatives had recommended a private gynecologist Dr Prashant Marathe, who runs Saroj Maternity home, and is also related to the deceased's family."

'Instances of negligence'

A source in the know of the preliminary inquiry said, "We have come across few instances of negligence. For instance, Rekha could have been shifted to the Government Medical College, Dhule, soon after the c-section and removal of her uterus, instead of a private super specialty hospital."

The source further added, "Her relatives informed that Rekha had fallen in the bathroom two days prior to her health deteriorating and complained of unbearable pain and haemorrhage. This should have been treated as a medico legal case. She was not sent to the Government Medical College, Dhule, where it would have surely been treated as a medico legal case. To avoid an inquiry, the doctor probably asked her to be taken to a private super speciality hospital."

Doctor's say changes

Asked why the police were not informed, and the case was not treated as medico legal, Dr Prashant Marathe said, "I learnt about the fall after Rekha's body was brought from Mumbai, from what local people said."

However, Dr Marathe had earlier told mid-day, "On April 18 Rekha was brought in an emergency to the hospital. We diagnosed her condition as abruption placenta (the placenta gets separated from the uterus). The history given was that she fell in the bathroom on her abdomen two days before, and on April 18 since morning she had a severe backache. She was taken to a local doctor, who gave some injection and an IV drip. An hour after she returned home, she was bleeding profusely."

DHO Dr More said he had submitted his report to Dr Archana Patil, Director Women and Child Welfare, and refused to share details. Dr Patil said, "We have sought the expert opinion of Dr Aparna Shrotri, retired Head and Professor of Obstetrics and Gynaecology at BJ Medical College, Pune. We have asked her to go through the inquiry report of the DHO, Dhule, and submit her say. Accordingly, we will submit our report to the government and Public Health Department for necessary action." When contacted, Dr Shrotri said, "I have received the soft copy of the newspaper reports, medical reports and the DHO's inquiry findings. I will go through them and then submit my report accordingly."

'Global Hospital is running without a licence'

Global Hospital has submitted its reply to the Deputy Municipal Commissioner (Public Health) on the query raised for reserving beds for poor patients. Sunil Dhamne, DMC (Public Health) told mid-day, "We are not satisfied with their response and therefore have put their renewal of license on hold. The local ward office might have initiated necessary prosecution action under the provisions of the Bombay Nursing Home Act, wherein the matter is reported to the local Magistrate court. In other words, the hospital is functioning without a licence."

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