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February 9, 2018

Mardan Medical Complex: Doctors call off strike as police register case against district nazim


February 9, 2018

PESHAWAR: The doctors kept the health services in the Mardan Medical Complex (MMC) suspended on second consecutive day on Thursday against what they called “misbehavior” of Mardan District Nazim Himayatullah Mayar with their colleagues.

The doctors’ strike, however, caused serious hardships to indoor and outdoor patients who had come from different far-off areas of Mardan, Nowshera, Swabi, Buner, Malakand and Charsadda districts.

The doctors called off their strike later in the day after the police registered First Information Report (FIR) against the district nazim.

It is third FIR lodged against District Nazim Himayatullah Mayar by the doctors in Mardan.

The issue started on Monday last when a patient Shabir, a resident of Jhanday area of Takht Bhai tehsil in Mardan, was brought to MMC at 3:30am with acute abdomen pain.

According to the hospital administration, the patient was taken to the Accident and Emergency Department of MMC with his pulse 90/mnt, BP90/70mmhg, toxic and severely dehydrated.

The casualty staff immediately started resuscitation and gave him fluid and antibiotic analgesic and PPL.

Baseline investigations were carried out and the patient was diagnosed as a case of bacterial peritonitis, most probably visceral perforation.

The MMC administration said that after resuscitation, the patient was shifted to the operation room for laparotomy at 1pm

The hospital administration after initial inquiry found that per operatively peritoneal cavity was full of puss and gut contents with perforation in the distal ileum (enteric perforation).

“Peritoneal lavage and ileostomy was performed. In the meanwhile, the patient was haemodynamicaly unstable. He was resuscitated by the anesthetist but he didn’t recover from anesthesia, despite all necessary measures. At 08.30pm, the patient was declared dead,” the MMC administration explained in its inquiry report.

Some independent sources in the hospital told The News that before shifting to the MMC, the patient was earlier taken to a private practitioner and then the District Headquarters Hospital, Mardan.

Though it was a public holiday due to Kashmir Day, the sources said, a specialist surgeon (senior registrar) was present on duty along with two other doctors. They attended the patient.

“Honestly speaking, the patient was not stable when he was brought to the MMC in middle of the night and it was too late when he was taken there. However, the doctors in the MMC followed all the standing operating procures. A trained surgeon personally handled the patient and then called a qualified anesthetist when the patient was shifted to the operation theatre,” said one senior doctor.

Pleading anonymity, he said the patient could not recover from anesthesia and died on the table in the operation theater after his surgery.

“As I mentioned, there was nothing wrong on the part of doctors. They followed the standard protocol but he couldn’t recover from anesthesia. Even then the doctors made several attempts to resuscitate him but to no avail,” said the physician.

He said the only mismanagement that he termed “mistake of the doctors” was that they didn’t inform attendants of the patient in time about his death and the reason was the doctors were still hoping the patient would recover.

According to the doctors and other independent sources, the attendants and other relatives of the patient later came to hospital and made three demands, i.e postmortem of the body, registration of police report and independent departmental inquiry.

“The hospital administration accepted all their three demands and everything was smooth but then came District Nazim Himayatullah Mayar. He inquired about the incident and even then the environment was very friendly but then during conversations he started exchanging harsh words with an anesthetist. And then the district nazim could not control his emotions and used a bad language against the doctors,” claimed the doctor.

Those present there recorded videos of the incident and shared it on social media. The doctors complained that Himayatullah Mayar’s insulting remarks against them prompted the already frustrated attendants of the dead person and other outsiders present there and some of them tried to physically assault doctors.

“I was also there as I didn’t expect this will happen and we found ourselves very insecure. We, too, a shelter in a room and when they saw us they called others and broken the glasses. It was good attendants of the dead person identified us and stopped the mob from assaulting us,” the doctor recalled.

When reached for comments, Medical Director MMC, Prof Mukhtar Ali said he had already conducted an internal inquiry and would welcome if any external inquiry is conducted.

However, he said, he had personally investigated the issue and didn’t find any negligence on the part of the doctors.

“Believe me, I would have suggested stern action against the doctors had they committed any negligence in this case. There was not even one percent negligence of the doctors in this particular case,” he explained.

He said he had immediately suspended six doctors when they were found guilty by an inquiry committee in another incident.

This reporter made several attempts on cell-phone to seek comments of District Nazim Himayatullah Mayar but the calls went unresponded.

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