In a case of medical apathy, a pregnant woman was turned away by Jammu and Kashmir's premier maternity care hospital, following which she was forced to deliver on a road. However, the family could not save the baby.
A probe was ordered by Divisional commissioner Kashmir, Baseer Khan to ascertain the factual position after reports of denial of entry of a pregnant woman into Lal Ded Hospital came to the fore.
“A news item has been posted on the social media which reveals that a woman from remote area of Kupwara district was forced to deliver on the roadside after doctors of Government L D Hospital, Srinagar, the largest maternity care hospital in the valley, did not allow her to stay in the hospital for a night and did not admit her on Thursday,” Khan said in the inquiry order.
The Divisional commissioner Kashmir asked Principal/Dean, Government Medical College Srinagar to inquire into the matter and submit the report in two days.
"This news item needs a thorough enquiry to find out the factual position, so that appropriate action is taken against the concerned if found liable for such negligence/ act," the order read. Khan asked the inquiry officer to treat the matter most urgent.
"You are accordingly directed to enquire into the matter and furnish the inquiry report along with your explicit comments within two days, treating the matter most urgent," the order said.
The relatives and neighbours of the woman held a protest march at Press Enclave here on Saturday, demanding action and doctors and hospital administration.
They also demanded establishment of a maternity care hospital in Kupwara and accommodation at Srinagar for patients from such far-flung areas.
The incident happened on Thursday night after the woman from remote Moore village of Kalaroos area of Kupwara developed labour pain at her home earlier during the day.
A family member of the woman said she was taken to Kalaroos hospital on a cot by a few people as the road was not motorable because of snow.
"The doctors there referred her to Kupwara hospital, from where she was further referred to Lal Ded Hospital in Srinagar,” the family member said.
He said the woman was kept under observation for a few hours at Lal Ded hospital, after which the doctors there allegedly refused her an overnight stay at the hospital.
"We were told to leave the hospital. A doctor also misbehaved with us. After we left the hospital, she developed severe pain again and delivered a baby girl on the road. The new-born died immediately,” the family member said.
Medical Superintendent, Lal Ded Hospital, Shabir Siddique said there were strict instructions to the doctors to keep patients from far-flung areas for an overnight stay at the hospital.
"We are ascertaining the facts. If there is any negligence, then we will take strict action,” he added.