Apollo’s statement refuted allegations of the Commission’s standing counsel that the hospital did not provide the best treatment.

 Jaya death probe Apollo and Commission lock horns Health Secy caught in crossfire
news Politics Sunday, December 30, 2018 - 09:57

The inquiry into the death of late CM Jayalalithaa saw yet another twist on Saturday after Apollo Hospitals shot off a combative missive, in response to a petition served by the Standing Counsel for the Commission accusing the hospital of failing to provide the best recommended treatment to the late CM. The health secretary of TN government, Dr J Radhakrishnan, also finds himself in the crossfire, as the panel as accused him of acting like a spokesperson for Apollo Hospitals.

In a strongly-worded press release, Apollo Hospitals said that they stand by the treatment given to the late CM during her stay, between September 22, 2016, when she was admitted, to December 5, 2016 when she died. The nine-point statement refuted the claims made by the counsel’s petition and also emphasised their demand for a medical board to assist the Arumughaswamy Commission in recording medical facts.

Allegations of collusion

Referring to Dr Radhakrishnan’s submission that he was not in favour of airlifting Jayalalithaa for treatment abroad because doing so would tantamount to insulting Indian doctors, the petition by the counsel for the Commission said, “He fails to appreciate the fact that the welfare of the patient is the paramount consideration,” read the petition.

Pointing out that experts from abroad were indeed flown to Chennai for consulting on the treatment, which contradicts the sentiments expressed by the health secretary in his submissions, the standing counsel also said that this behaviour by him suggests that there was collusion between the health secretary and the hospital. “At times, he speaks like spokesman of the Apollo Hospital, which speaks volume to the collusion and inaction in the matter of treatment of late chief minister,” read the statement.

The petition also implicated C Rama Mohana Rao, the former Chief Secretary, of giving false evidence to the Commission regarding the treatment given to the former chief minister. The petition stated that while the former chief secretary submitted that he had intimated the details of procedures done on Jayalalithaa to the government, the present Chief Secretary denied receiving any communication regarding that.

The petition, hence, sought action against Rama Mohana Rao under Section 5 (Additional powers of the Commission) of the Commissions of Inquiry Act.

Combative Apollo

Denying the claims in the counsel’s petition that not providing angio-treatment to the former chief minister led to deterioration of her health, Apollo Hospital stated that there was no need for any cardiac intervention, even as late as December 3, 2016.

“Even on 03.12.2016 when the AIIMS doctors including Dr Nitish Nayak, the cardiologist, visited the late CM they have submitted a report stating there was no necessity or any kind of cardiac investigation or intervention,” read the statement.

The hospital also rebuked the standing counsel’s statement which said that CPR was not done for 15 minutes, which led to brain death of the former CM. The hospital said that what the deposition document has wrongly recorded as ‘15 minutes’ was in fact ‘15 seconds’. The hospital also stated that the deposing doctor had requested a correction in this statement when it was being recorded but then the Commission did not oblige.

“Right then Dr Madan Kumar corrected the Commission and clarified it was not minutes, but seconds. However, the correction was not carried out. Dr Madan Kumar refused to sign the deposition but the Commission would not delete this incorrect sentence. In the next sentence in the deposition, Dr Madan Kumar clarified that it was only seconds. This was recorded. Yet in the petition only the incorrect sentence is being projected,” read the statement. It also added that the hospital has submitted sufficient evidence to the Commission that the former chief minister was not brain dead at that time.

The statement released by the hospital also said that the incorrect spellings of medical procedures and wrong recording of facts in the petition amplified the need for a medical board to assist the Inquiry Commission, as the hospital had previously requested. “Without this no finding of the Commission will be complete or based on medical science. The Supreme Court has repeatedly held that a judge cannot substitute a medical specialist’s opinion with his own,” the press release added.

The hospital also stated that it stands by the treatment given to Jayalalithaa and added that the treatment was in line with internationally recognised protocols.

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