MCH incident: Minister dismisses demand for inquiry by expert team

Health Minister Veena George has dismissed the demands from the medical fraternity that an expert committee be set up to inquire into all aspects of the deceased donor renal transplant done at the Thiruvananthapuram Government Medical College Hospital on Sunday.

The Kerala Government Medical College Teachers’ Association, unhappy over the manner in which the government had suspended two senior doctors ahead of a comprehensive inquiry, had demanded that an expert committee, including doctors, be set up to ascertain if any lapses had happened in the procedures or conduct of the transplant surgery and if these could have contributed to the death of the patient.

Post-mortem report

Talking to the media here on Thursday, Ms. George said that she saw no need for constituting an expert committee when Additional Chief Secretary (Health) Asha Thomas was already launching a comprehensive inquiry into the incident. Also, the post-mortem examination report of the patient was awaited, she said.

Ms. George also did not see any merit in the KGMCTA’s statement that an organized attempt was on to malign the MCH.

The police, under the Kazhakuttam Assistant Commissioner, are inquiring into the two complaints filed with the police in connection with the incident at the MCH. The deceased transplant recipient’s family has filed a complaint of negligence against the MCH authorities, while the MCH authorities have filed a complaint that some “outsiders” or ambulance drivers had grabbed the box containing the organ when it was brought to the hospital.

‘Will demoralize fraternity’

Meanwhile the Nephrology Association of Kerala has issued a statement that the allegations of negligence and “delay” in performing the transplant can torpedo the brilliant team work involved in making deceased donations happen in the state. Those believing that the so-called “delay” in surgery had led to the patient’s death had no comprehension of the complexities involved or the precautions and preparations that needed to be carried out in a foolproof manner before a transplant could be attempted. The current controversy and the manner in which the government has been quick to find fault with senior doctors will only serve to demoralize the fraternity, the association said.

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