CRH Manipal’s Trials and Tribulations

The recent deaths, due to medical negligence, at Central Referral Hospital, Manipal are unfortunate and disturbing. It would be in the interest of CRH to have these matters inquired into by independent health experts including doctors from Health Dept., Government of Sikkim. An autopsy from a government hospital [New STNM] revealing the cause of death […] The post CRH Manipal’s Trials and Tribulations appeared first on The Sikkim Chronicle - Sikkim News.

CRH Manipal’s Trials and Tribulations

The recent deaths, due to medical negligence, at Central Referral Hospital, Manipal are unfortunate and disturbing. It would be in the interest of CRH to have these matters inquired into by independent health experts including doctors from Health Dept., Government of Sikkim.

An autopsy from a government hospital [New STNM] revealing the cause of death would help to clear doubts and put an end to speculations. The findings could also help the members of the bereaved family to come to terms and find closure.

Having said so, I would, however, like to add and remind fellow Sikkimese that CRH Manipal and its medical university is one of Sikkim’s most valuable assets. Perhaps it is more valuable than all the hydropower projects and tourist infrastructures built in Sikkim.

In the age of digital media, we need to be cautious while airing our views on sensitive matters. Every Tom, Dick and Harry cannot have knowledge and expertise. This is not an occasion for publicity. 

The government needs to handle this matter with maturity. With an experienced bureaucracy and medical experts at their command, the govt. could have easily deputed a team of experts to enquire into the incident and get a preliminary report.

It is not for political appointees, politicians, self-proclaimed social activists, and private commentators to virtually enquire into the matter, holding Manipal hospital guilty. Please remember you cannot don the role of a complainant, an Inquiry Officer, Prosecutor and a Judge at the same time.

Freedom of speech does not include the right to tarnish the image and defame an institution or an organisation. Summoning the Vice-Chancellor for a meeting and grilling him openly in front of the media and public is also not in good taste and reflects our lack of experience in dealing with such matters. It is the responsibility of the administrators to ensure that such meetings are held in a dignified manner and besides the political heads, the government is also represented by personnel having knowledge and expertise in that field. 

Manipal is one of the leading organisations in the field of healthcare and medical education. It is the right time for them to introspect and take corrective measures. If necessary, they should take help and guidance from their parent organisation. They should remember that however big or reputed, they are answerable to the people and their patients. 

We should not forget that many have been treated and cured in the same hospital. We must also evaluate our government health infrastructure and medical facilities. We have a thousand bedded hospital but not enough medical staff and personnel to manage it. Some have questioned whether, such a huge construction of 1000 beds instead of 500, was ‘contract oriented’‚ rather than an actual requirement. 

Whatever the facts, in the past, many from Sikkim have been compelled to go to Siliguri for simple medical treatment such as childbirth, removal of gall stones etc. I know quite a few from the medical fraternity who have gone down to Siliguri for pregnancy-related issues.

With the establishment of Manipal, this has changed to a huge extent. Many now prefer to get treated in their home town at Manipal. Many now prefer Manipal to government hospitals. Unlike government hospitals, they have a system in place. The facilities are good. The hospital is much cleaner than our new government hospital. This is only a comparative observation and not to undermine our government hospitals.

Therefore, let us be rational and mature in our approach. Many of our future generations will have the opportunity of pursuing their medical degree from this same Manipal university.

Let us not kill our ‘golden goose’ simply because some of the eggs out of thousands have turned out to be bad. We must exercise restraint and wait for the competent authorities to complete their enquiry, which must be made available to the public. Until then, let us not jump to conclusions and damage the reputation of our institution. 

Let truth prevail – Satyameva jayate!

The author is J. B. Pradhan, a Senior Advocate at Gangtok High Court. He can be reached at jagat_26@yahoo.com

Views/Opinions expressed in the article or write up is purely of the author or writer and not of the Sikkim Chronicle. For any queries or contradictions, the author can be contacted in his/her email id.

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