Un­der fire, PGI now de­cides on ex­ter­nal in­quiry

Does not re­veal names of ex­perts; will be an­nounced to­day

Hindustan Times (Chandigarh) - Live - - FRONT PAGE - HT Live Cor­re­spon­dent chdlivedesk@hin­dus­tan­times.com

CHANDI­GARH: Com­mit­ting one mis­take af­ter an­other in the Anu­pama death case, the PGI ad­min­is­tra­tion fi­nally an­nounced on Sun­day that it would mark a fresh in­quiry into the mat­ter by ex­ter­nal ex­perts.

This is for the first time in the re­cent his­tory of the in­sti­tute that an ex­ter­nal in­quiry will be con­ducted into the death of a pa­tient due to the al­leged neg­li­gence of PGI doc­tors.

A press re­lease is­sued by the in­sti­tute on Sun­day said, “Af­ter con­sid­er­a­tion of the in­quiry re­port sub­mit­ted by the com­mit­tee con­sti­tuted to look into the death of Anu­pama, the PGI ad­min­is­tra­tion has de­cided to fur­ther ex­pand the scope of the in­quiry, for which a com­mit­tee with ex­ter­nal ex­perts is be­ing con­sti­tuted.”

How­ever the in­sti­tute did not re­veal the names of the ex­perts. “A de­ci­sion on the names of ex­perts will be taken on Mon­day,” said PGI spokesper­son Manju Wad­walkar.

Ac­cord­ing to sources in the fac­ulty of the in­sti­tute, it is for the first time in the re­cent his­tory of the PGI that the in­sti­tute is get­ting an in­quiry con­ducted into the death of a pa­tient from out­side ex­perts. “The in­ci­dent has dented the im­age of the in­sti­tute,” said a se­nior fac­ulty mem­ber on con­di­tion of anonymity.

“We hope that they take our ver­sion this time,” Anu­pama’s mother Kanika Sarkar told HT.

From the very on­set, the in­quiry was a non-se­ri­ous ex­er­cise. Two of the four probe com­mit­tee mem­bers were found out of town and re­placed only af­ter the me­dia high­lighted the mat­ter.

The third mem­ber was head of the orthopaedics depart­ment, which had at­tended on the pa­tient. The com­mit­tee did not bother to take the ver­sion of Anu­pama’s fam­ily mem­bers.

The in­quiry re­port, re­leased to the me­dia by PGI di­rec­tor Dr YK Chawla on Satur­day, turned out to be a sham. It failed to fix re­spon­si­bil­ity for the death of the pa­tient and did not go be­yond sug­ges­tions. Chawla was ill at ease de­fend­ing the in­sti­tute when con­fronted by me­di­a­per­sons with pointed ques­tions.

Anu­pama, a stu­dent of Gov­ern­ment Model Se­nior Sec­ondary School, Sec­tor 18, was brought to the PGI on July 17 af­ter­noon af­ter her leg was crushed un­der the rear tyre of a CTU bus. She died at the PGI a week later.

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