A 30-year-old woman delivered a child in the hospital premises in Bandipora on Saturday after the doctors allegedly refused to attend to her, claiming that she was COVID19 positive.
This has triggered an outrage in the area.
The family members of the woman said November 14 was her date of delivery but the doctors refused to admit her citing COVID19.
Witnesses including patients and their attendants described the scene as “ugly and inhuman” on part of the hospital administration.
Nasir Ahmad, a witness, said, “She cried in pain for half an hour and delivered in a pool of water at the hospital gate while her relatives tried to hide her with the blankets amid rain.”
The woman’s husband, Abdul Aziz Bhat said after coming from their native Vewan village in a hired cab at around 10 am when they took her to the first floor of the gynecology section, the doctors there refused to admit her despite her condition.
Another woman, Rubeena, who witnessed the incident, said she saw her delivering the baby in the public.
“There was no doctor or paramedical staff to attend to her. She was forced to deliver in the hospital premises. All men saw her giving birth to the baby,” she said.
Another witness, Firdous Ahmad, who the family had approached for help said, “The attendants of the woman literally begged me to ferry her to some maternity clinic after being rejected admission despite the fact that four to five ambulances were parked here.”
Medical Officer, DrSoiba, who attended to the pregnant woman, told Greater Kashmir that the patient had tested positive for COVID19.
“I referred her to CHC Hajin where COVID19 positive patients from the district deliver, but due to unknown reasons they didn’t get into the ambulance and she delivered on the road,” she said. “She wasn’t denied treatment but was admitted and administered injections before being shifted when her COVID19 report came positive. However, she delivered some two hours earlier, the time she would have easily reached Hajin.”
DrSoiba said an FMPHW staff member attended to her as she was delivering and also cut her placenta.
“The incident was unfortunate and we feel sorry for it,” she said. “Such incidents can happen anywhere due to the uncertainty of pregnancies.”
Medical Superintendent District Hospital Bandipora, Dr Bashir Ahmad Teeli said that as her report had returned positive, he received a call around 11 am about shifting her.
“I immediately called 108 for the free ambulance service. Meanwhile, the patient came downstairs and delivered in the hospital premises,” he said.
DrTeeli said that all the staff attended to her at the time of her delivery.
The authorities said that the delivery was normal and the baby and mother were stable.
“As a precautionary measure, we are shifting the mother to the COVID19 hospital at Pazalpora,” said Dr Bashir of District Hospital Bandipora said.
After the outrage, Deputy Commissioner Bandipora, Owais Ahmad issued a show-cause notice to the Medical Superintendent and Medical Officer of the hospital who were on duty.
He also constituted a committee of officers headed by ACR to enquire into the matter and submit a report within a week’s time.