The minister also questioned the presence of members of the Sasikala clan at the hospital and the enormous food bill that was given to the commission.

TN govt questions Apollo Hospitals decision not to airlift perform angio on Jaya
news Jayalalithaa death probe Monday, December 31, 2018 - 18:06

The Tamil Nadu Government on Monday added its voice to the allegations made by the Arumughasamy Commission against Apollo Hospitals and Health Secretary J Radhakrishnan, over 'lack of proper treatment' given to former Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa. Law Minister CVe Shanmugam launched into a tirade, criticising the actions of both parties and insinuated that they were functioning under the instructions of VK Sasikala's family.

The minister's allegation comes after a petition was served by the Standing Counsel for the Commission, accusing the hospital of failing to provide the best-recommended treatment to the late CM. J Radhakrishnan also found himself in the crossfire, as the panel accused him of acting like a spokesperson for Apollo Hospitals.

Referring to his 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 that he failed to appreciate the fact that the welfare of the patient is the paramount consideration.

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. On Saturday, Apollo Hospitals shot off a combative missive in response to the petition, denying all allegations. 

But the government has now chosen to side with observations made by the commission.

Alleging lack of satisfactory treatment, Law Minister  CVe Shanmugam said, “No angiogram was done on Amma even though it is a normal procedure. Three doctors said that an angiogram must be done immediately but it wasn't. Who stopped it? Who said that the angiogram must not be done?"

He further questioned the intent of the hospital and loudly wondered who was controlling the authorities there? "Did someone know she will survive if the angiogram is done?" he asked.

He further questioned the presence of members of the Sasikala clan at the hospital and the enormous food bill that was given to the commission.

"The hospital allows only one attendant for the patient at a time. But here, an entire hospital was made a resort for the family. All members whom Amma had sent out of the party were there. Did they stay to give her treatment? There is a mystery in her death. The commission is probing this and several doctors have been questioned. They have said shocking things,” he said.

Allegations against bureaucrats

The commission pointed out that experts from abroad were indeed flown to Chennai for consulting on the treatment, which contradicts the sentiments expressed by Health Secretary Radhakrishnan in his submissions. The standing counsel also said that this behaviour suggests that there was collusion between the health secretary and the hospital.

“At times, he speaks like a spokesman of the Apollo Hospital, which speaks volume about inaction in the matter of treatment of late chief minister,” read the statement.

The petition also stated that while the former Chief Secretary Rama Mohan submitted that he had intimated the details of the procedures performed on Jayalalithaa to the government, the present Chief Secretary Girija Vaidyanathan 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.

Talking to the media, the Law Minister further said, "The cabinet was not informed of any information regarding treatment. None of us were allowed to meet her. Rama Mohan Rao has said that the cabinet was informed that she needed to be taken abroad and we denied permission. This is not true. He and Radhakrishnan must be investigated."

Responding to the allegations, health secretary Radhakrishnan said, “I had only said that there were no different treatment that she could be given abroad that she was not getting in India. Besides, she was unconscious and there was a high risk in shifting her. When she became conscious, I know that she didn't want to be shifted. She unexpectedly had a heart attack on December 4. We are giving whatever details we have to the commission."

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