K’taka woman forced to deliver baby on the road after being turned away from hospital

A show cause notice has been issued to the doctor at the Chitrahalli PHC, who turned the pregnant woman away, saying it was lunchtime.
K’taka woman forced to deliver baby on the road after being turned away from hospital
K’taka woman forced to deliver baby on the road after being turned away from hospital

A 30-year-old pregnant woman from Karnataka’s Chitradurga district who was in labour was turned away from the local public health centre (PHC) after being told that it was lunchtime and that neither the duty doctor nor a nurse could attend to her at the moment.

The incident took place on Monday at Chitrahalli village of Holalkere taluk in Chitradurga district.

Gangamalamma (30) is a resident of Chitrahalli village and was taken urgently to the PHC by her husband Chowdappa (35), in Chitrahalli after she experienced contractions. The couple reached the hospital at around 11am and were made to wait for nearly an hour. After a while, a doctor and a nurse told the couple to go home saying it was lunchtime and that the doctor couldn’t attend to the patient.

Just as they were returning home, Gangamalamma went into labour. Women in the vicinity took her aside and hung up saris to provide a makeshift shelter and helped deliver the baby. She was later shifted to the government hospital at Chitradurga. The baby has reportedly developed complications and is undergoing treatment at the hospital.

Allegations of negligence have been raised against the PHC in-charge and duty medical officer, Dr Mohammed. Villagers have been protesting outside the PHC and are demanding appropriate action to be taken against the doctor. The District Health Officer (DHO), Dr Neeraj Patil has been informed about the incident.

“The DCP has been informed and a show cause notice issued to the doctor. We conducted an inquiry into the incident and have found that the doctor is clearly at fault,” he said to TNM. “He was a contract medical officer and not a regular employee of the hospital.”

He added that action would be taken after speaking to the DCP on the issue. “As of now, we have two options, one is to terminate him and the other is to transfer him elsewhere and let him off with a warning.”

Earlier in September 2018, a pregnant woman from a small tribal hamlet in Andhra Pradesh’s Vizianagaram district was forced to deliver her child in the middle of the road due to lack of road connectivity to the nearest hospital. In a video which was circulated, the newly born infant could be seen lying on a cloth spread on the dirt road. The video showed a woman cutting the baby’s umbilical cord with the mother sitting beside.

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