'Go home, it's the weekend,' doctors tell pregnant woman on due date

Feb 25, 2014, 09:30 IST | Niranjan Medhekar

Resident duo at Pune's Kamla Nehru Hospital turned away 9-months pregnant woman, saying she wouldn't get treatment on Sat-Sun; hospital to compensate her by deducting doctors' stipends

In another case of numbing apathy that public hospitals are notorious for, a woman who was nine-months pregnant was turned away by the PMC-run Kamla Nehru Hospital, where a couple of doctors told her she would have to wait two days since she would not receive any treatment on Saturday and Sunday.

Closed on weekends? Two resident doctors at Kamla Nehru Hospital refused to admit nine-months pregnant Amrin Sheikh
Closed on weekends? Two resident doctors at Kamla Nehru Hospital refused to admit nine-months pregnant Amrin Sheikh 

Controlling the damage after learning of the incident, hospital superintendent Dr Bharatan on Monday issued a memorandum to the two doctors. He also recommended to the PMC to compensate the woman for the medical tab she consequently had to foot at a private facility, and deduct this sum from the stipends of the two doctors.

The woman, Amrin Masrun Mahammad Sheikh, was registered at Kamla Nehru Hospital since nine months ago. Last Saturday, February 22, was her due date, so she went to the hospital.

The doctors admitted her at 10.30 am. But an hour later, residents Dr Sapna Varma and Dr Sandeep Yende asked her to leave and come back on Monday. They told her she'd not receive any treatment on the weekend.

The woman was then forced to go to a private hospital and, on Sunday, she gave birth to a baby girl.

'Take responsibility'
Once the news spread, local Shiv Sena wing members agitated at both Kamla Nehru Hospital and at the PMC health department, demanding strict action against the doctors and compensation for the woman.

Javed Khan, the patient's uncle and a Shiv Sainik, said, "This incident shows the indifference of PMC hospitals towards patients. An attitudinal change is required. Fortunately, both the patient and the baby are safe and will soon get a discharge. But the civic health department has to take responsibility and initiate action against the culprits."

Incidentally, the two resident doctors are not PMC employees. While pursuing a post-graduation in the medical field, they are practising at Kamla Nehru Hospital.

Action taken so far by hospital

The hospital superintendent has asked the PMC to compensate the woman for the delivery expenses she incurred at the private hospital she was forced to go to. 

In a letter written by superintendent, Dr Bharatan, to PMC's acting health chief, Dr ST Pardeshi, he stated, "The decision taken by doctors of sending the patient home was wrong and severe. In such a situation the patient has to be admitted in the hospital. Hence, I issued a memo to Dr Sapna Varma and Dr Sandeep Yende."

The letter further reads, "After not getting admitted at Kamla Nehru Hospital, Sheikh had to go to a private nursing home. That's why I recommend that the PMC bear the compensation by deducting it from these two doctors' stipends."

The acting civic health chief, Pardshi, confirmed to MiD DAY that he received the letter from Kamla Nehru Hospital, and said the patient would get compensation which would be taken from the stipends ozf the two doctors.

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