Kerala Health Minister Veena George on Tuesday justified the suspension of two doctors in connection with the death of a transplant patient at the Government Medical College here and said no lapse committed in the treatment of common people was acceptable as the patient’s life is predominantly the responsibility of the doctor.
The suspension was not a punishment, but action taken to facilitate a comprehensive probe by keeping them away from duty, she said while replying to a query on the strong protest registered by the Doctors’ Union over the move.
The heads of Nephrology and Urology departments in the medical college hospital were suspended on Monday pending inquiry for lack of coordination in the kidney transplant after the issue triggered widespread controversy. ”As far as the government and the health department are concerned, the life of every patient coming to the state-run hospitals and medical colleges is important. If doctors have no responsibility for that, who else should be responsible?” George asked.
Alleging lapses in the system being prevalent in the government medical colleges, the minister issued a strict warning, saying it cannot continue anymore and the government would not allow it at any cost.
She also reiterated the hospital authorities’ complaint that some unidentified persons other than hospital staff had carried the box containing the harvested organ from the ambulance to the medical college.
However, an ambulance driver identified as Arun Dev told the media that he was one of those who had carried the box inside the hospital building and said it was only to avoid any delay in the procedure.
”Not even the security staff at the hospital was aware of the arrival of the organ and no preparation was made there to receive it. So we carried it inside the building. A doctor and a security staff were also with us while we were running with the box inside the hospital,” he said He also said he did not feel that he had committed any grave mistake as he only tried to save a valuable life.
A patient in need of a kidney transplant died at the medical college hospital on Monday, allegedly due to a four-hour delay in the surgical procedure, prompting the state government to order a probe into the incident.
The kidney, which was harvested from a 34-year-old brain-dead donor in Ernakulam, was brought to the state capital on Sunday evening within 2.5 hours, through a ”Green Corridor System”.
A video that was aired by television channels showed two unidentified persons receiving the organ from the ambulance as soon as it stopped and taking it inside the hospital.
Opposition parties criticized the state government and the health department over the issue alleging that it was a clear case of mismanagement.