ST panel takes up AIIMS doctor’s sack in nurse’s death

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New Delhi, April 10 (IANS) The National Commission for the Scheduled Tribes has decided to take up with the AIIMS authorities the issue of a resident doctor’s sacking over a pregnant staff nurse’s death during treatment.

The commission has called for a joint sitting with the AIIMS authorities and the doctor whose services were terminated on April 19. The commission said it has received a complaint that action against doctor Neisevile Nisa was taken because he belongs to a Scheduled Tribe while others were let off.

Nisa, who was working with the anesthesia department of the All India Institute of Medical Sciences, belongs to the Angami tribe of Nagaland.

NCST notice to the AIIMS Director said that commission Vice Chairperson Anusuiya Uikey sought “to discuss the matter in person with you” at the commission office on April 19 for “investigation/inquiry/action taken in the matter”.

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The NCST has also urged the AIIMS to submit facts and information on the action taken on the allegations in the case.

Nisa’s contract with the AIIMS was terminated on February 21 after a 28-year-old pregnant nursing staff, Rajbir Kaur, died of cardiac arrest on February 4, while undergoing treatment at the hospital.

Two committees formed to look into the matter concluded that Nisa was guilty and let off other resident doctors who were in the team conducting the surgery on Kaur.

The letter the NCST has received pertaining to the case also mentions that no action was taken by the committees against the Obstetrics and Gynaecology consultant and resident doctors who ordered Kaur’s surgery in an ill-equipped operation theatre and did not ensure the mother’s safety.

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“Discrimination clearly shows in the action taken by AIIMS. Gynecology Consultant Seema Singhal was on duty that day. Just because she is the wife of Manish Singhal, head of Plastic Surgery and Chief Administrative Officer of AIIMS…can the committee explain why she cannot be terminated for dereliction of her duty,” reads the letter, a copy of which is with IANS.

Among other doctors who were let off despite being on duty while Kaur was being operated upon were Devalina, Rahul Gupta and Manish from Anesthesia Department and Anusha from Gynaecology Department.

Agreeing to the joint sitting, theAIIMS has said in its reply that there was no caste-based discrimination in the termination of Nisa’s services.

“AIIMS had conducted two inquiries regarding the death of the nursing officer as well as her baby post-delivery. The inquiry report of the high-level committee chaired by AIIMS Director took the decision to issue a termination order to N. Nisa. He was given an opportunity of hearing before the inquiry committee and his representation was duly considered,” said AIIMS in its reply.

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