Published On : Tue, Sep 15th, 2015

Why should Wockhardt hospital not be de-recognised?

Nagpur: This is what transpired as per Manoj’s brother and his friends as reported by Nagpur Today earlier.
Manoj Katgaye, a very young man of Nagpur drowned in tragic circumstances while at a birthday bash at a farmhouse. His friends pulled him out ( in time they thought), since he was still alive while being rushed to the nearest hospital.

‘The worried friends of Manoj took him to Wockhardt Hospital located near Shankar Nagar Square in Nagpur around 4.30 in the morning. At the Hospital, the friends were taken aback when certain staffers including the receptionist and doctor(s) first ordered them to deposit money at cash counter. The friends pleaded to the staffers that the money will be deposited at right time and they should start treatment to Manoj. However, the doctor and the receptionist first ordered them to deposit the money and even summoned cops from Ambazari Police Station. Two cops namely Rathod and Sathe arrived at the hospital and rudely told the friends to either deposit the money or take the patient to some other hospital, claimed Dinesh.’

If this report is true and situation unfolded as alleged, how is this case any different from the case of the 6 years old boy who died in Delhi after 5-6 hospitals refused to admit him and now the hospitals could be in the process of losing their registrations? There has been a national hue and cry over the incident – both the Central government and Delhi government have reacted expressing shock.

Then why are government authorities in Nagpur and our state government silent on this case which happened in Nagpur recently?

I spoke to a number of Doctors regarding such situations. My question was –
IS IT LEGAL FOR ANY HOSPITAL TO FIRST ASK FOR MONEY TO BE DEPOSTED BEFORE TREATING THE PATIENT, EVEN AN EMERGENCY PATIENT?

The reply I got was a firm NO. It is imperative on the hospital to first attend immediately to the serious patient, stabilize him and then they may direct him to another hospital if they feel they cannot take the case.

This was not any small, private nursing home moreover where there was a chance that a Doctor would not be available to look at emergency patients. In fact a large hoarding right outside the hospital proclaims in big letters that if one is suffering from high fever or any acute health complaint they can come to Wockhardt any time of the night!

In India, any Allopathy Medical practitioner has to be guided by some strict rules. These are applicable to hospitals as well. This is what the rules say about code of conduct for Doctors:

According to Code of Medical Ethics laid down by the Medical Council of India, these are the principles on which a Doctor has to work:

Duties and responsibilities of the Physician in general:

1.1 Character of Physician (Doctors with qualification of MBBS or MBBS with post graduate degree/ diploma or with equivalent qualification in any medical discipline):

1.1.1 A physician shall uphold the dignity and honour of his profession.

1.1.2 The prime object of the medical profession is to render service to humanity; reward or financial gain is a subordinate consideration. Who- so-ever chooses his profession, assumes the obligation to conduct himself in accordance with its ideals. A physician should be an upright man, instructed in the art of healings. He shall keep himself pure in character and be diligent in caring for the sick; he should be modest, sober, patient, prompt in discharging his duty without anxiety; conducting himself with propriety in his profession and in all the actions of his life.

The Patient must not be neglected: A physician is free to choose whom he will serve. He should, however, respond to any request for his assistance in an emergency. Once having undertaken a case, the physician should not neglect the patient, nor should he withdraw from the case without giving adequate notice to the patient and his family. Provisionally or fully registered medical practitioner shall not willfully commit an act of negligence that may deprive his patient or patients from necessary medical care.

So the issue now is, if a hospital has flouted basic rules of patient care, should it not be penalized?

Nagpur Today, strongly feels that the police role must also be investigated thoroughly here. When beckoned by the hospital, should they not have spoken on behalf of the patient rather than the hospital? We , the tax payers, pay the Police to safe guard US the citizens, not a private Corporate Hospital!

This whole affair stinks of wrong doing on so many fronts. It reeks of inhumanity, callousness and apathy.

And the tragedy is that a young life that could be saved has been lost. A family has lost a young son, a mother her youngest child!

Does anyone care?

— Sunita Mudaliar