Apollo Hospitals, where former Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa was admitted for medical treatment over two months until her death in December 2016, has critiqued the one-man probe panel constituted to enquire into her death, calling for the setting up a medical board.
In a petition submitted before the Arumugasamy Commission of Inquiry which is investigating the hospitalisation and subsequent death of Jayalalithaa, Apollo Hospitals has stated that the inability of the commission to comprehend medical terminology is proving fatal to â€śits understanding of the facts and circumstances surrounding the late Chief Minister's treatment.â€ť
â€śIt is submitted that doctors from [Apollo] hospital who have deposed before the Hon'ble Commission have found it a challenge to explain the complexity of medical scientific facts, protocol, procedures to the Hon'ble Commission, which does not have a medical professional assisting it during the proceedings. It is clear from the depositions recorded that there are several serious errors that have crept in because of the inability of the typist himself to comprehend and type the correct medical terminology. This is in spite of doctors trying to explain and spell out terms over and over again," states the petition.
Providing examples of these errors, the petition states that words such as 'intubation' and 'enterococcus' bacteria have been recorded as 'incubation' and 'endocarditis'.
The Hospital has asked the commission to set up a medical board â€śto examine facts and circumstances of the late Chief Minister's medical condition during her hospitalisation in [Apollo Hospital] and the appropriateness of the treatment that was provided to her by [Apollo Hospital].â€ť
The one-man probe panel headed by (Retired) Justice Arumugasamy was set up by the Tamil Nadu government in September last year. It has received flak for the slow pace of its investigation, having sought three extensions already to submit its report.
Interestingly, the Apollo Hospital petition also points out that while the Arumugasamy Commission did try to include medical experts, little was done about it.
â€śIn May 2018, the Hon'ble Commission Justice Arumughaswamy had sought the State Government's approval to the form a medical expert team to examine the treatment and medical documents relating to the late Chief Minister's treatment. The Hon'ble Commission intended to pick 4 medical experts of its own choice and to simplify the details of the medical treatment provided to the late Chief Minister. It is submitted that accordingly the State Government granted permission to the [Commission] to appoint doctors as requested on 01.05.2018,â€ť the petition points out.
Despite receiving the go-ahead from the Tamil Nadu government in May 2018 to help understand close to 10,000 pages of medical documents provided by Apollo Hospital, the petition states that there are no doctors or medical professional till date to assist during medical proceedings.
The Hospital has also said that an analysis of the medical documents must be done by medical professionals with a "global perspective on treatment options, protocols, evolving medical care, state of the art technology, valuable experience and expertise."
Even as the probe panelâ€™s report is now due on February 24, 2019, Apollo Hospital requested that the medical board consist of critical care specialists, cardiothoracic surgeon with experience in ECMOPR, interventionist specializing in ARDS, among other specialists.