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April 23, 2019

Health Commission recommends termination of 95 untrained nurses of Darul Sehat, imposes Rs 0.5 million fine


Tue, Apr 23, 2019

Karachi: Sindh Health Care Commission (SHCC) has recommended to the Pakistan Nursing council to take disciplinary action against a midwife and a nursing assistant who wrongly administered a drug to nine-month old baby girl Nashwa Ali, resulting in severe brain damage to her that ultimately led to child’s death, asked hospital to terminate 95 unskilled nursing, paramedical staff and recruitment incharge and also imposed a penalty of half a million rupees on Darul Sehat Hospital, Karachi for hospital staff’s negligence resulting in child’s death.

“We have finalized our probe into the incident that took place at Darul Sehat Hospital and imposed a fine of Rs five lacs on the hospital administration, which is the maximum penalty we can impose as per our act. Furthermore, we have found a midwife Sobia and a nursing assistant Moiz guilty in this case and has asked the Pakistan Nursing Council to cancel their registration and bar them from working as health professionals in future”, Dr. Minhaj Qidwai, Chairman SHCC told The News on Tuesday.

The report further recommended that 95 nurses and nursing staff at Darul Sehat Hospital were found to be untrained and unregistered and recommended that they should be immediately suspended and terminated. The Commission further recommended that Incharge of the recruitment at the hospital should also be terminated immediately.

Nashwa Ali, a nine months old baby girl had suffered irreparable loss at the start of this month at Darul Sehat Hospital when a nursing assistant had administered her with Potassium Chloride or KCL injection in concentrated form intravenously, causing her heart to stop. She was resuscitated for around 45 minutes during which her brain suffered an irreparable damage. She later died at another private hospital during treatment on Monday morning.

Sindh Health Care Commission, which had launched a probe into the criminal negligence of the private hospital, inspected the healthcare establishment twice after Nashwa Ali’s father lodged a complaint with the Commission and found that there were several gaps in healthcare service delivery and the facility needed serious improvements, especially in its Human Resource management, recruitment of skilled and trained staff and management of health issues.

“Only 70 paramedical and nursing staff members were found to be fully trained out of a total of 165 employees. We have also directed the hospital to get its paramedical and nursing staff trained at the earliest and review its human resource management policy immediately”, Dr. Qidwai maintained.

Qidwai maintained that they had send a copy of their report and action taken by them to Qaiser Ali, father of the ill-fated girl while copies of reports had also been sent to the Sindh health department, Supreme Court of Pakistan as well as other stakeholders in the country.

“We have sent one of our directors to the residence of baby girl Nashwa Ali to offer our condolences with her family and present them Commission’s report to Qaiser Ali, Nashwa’s father”, Mr. Qidwai said.

To a query, he said they Commssion was not in the favour of closing down the private hospital as it was serving around three hundred thousand people in the Gulistan-e-Jauhar and adjoining areas and maintained that instead of closing down health facilities, their focus is improve health care services at public and private hospitals in the province.

On the other hand, a two-member committee comprising Director, National Institute of Child Health (NICH) Prof. Jamal Raza and another eminent pediatrician Dr. M.N Lal also submitted its probe report to the Sindh health department, asking it to strengthen the Sindh Health Care Commission to take measures so that such incidents and negligence could be prevented.

“The two-member committee has recommended to the health department to strengthen the Health Care Commission as under the provincial law, only the healthcare commission has the mandate to probe into such incidents, take actions on incidents of negligence at healthcare facilities and impose fines and penalties on those found indulged in malpractices”, Sindh Secretary Health Saeed Awan told The News.

Sindh Health Secretary maintained that Sindh Health Care Commission was an independent body and as its Act, it was not supposed to send its report to health department and added that as per law, commission had the authority to close down any hospital or any department of any healthcare facility by cancelling its registration.

“They are already sealing clinics and healthcare establishments being run by the quacks and so far they have sealed several dozen such healthcare establishments in Karachi and rest of Sindh. If they feel that any hospital is not being run properly, they have the authority to close it down”, Sindh health secretary maintained.

Family of Nashwa Ali rejects SHCC action, demands closure of Darual Sehat

Family members of deceased Nashwa Ali said they were not satisfied with imposition of half a million rupees penalty and recommendation of disciplinary action against the Darul Sehat Hospital, saying this hospital should not be allowed to function anymore to save lives of hundreds of other baby girls.

“We reject the eyewash action by the SHCC and we would not accept less than closure of this facility, which not only killed our daughter but also killed several other people in the pretext of medical treatment”, a relative of Nashwa Ali said, saying Nashwa’s parents were not in the condition to speak to media at the moment.