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Doctors go on strike as gynaecologist arrested for alleged negligence

Jamui (Bihar): Doctors here have gone on strike after a local gynaecologist was arrested by the police for alleged gross negligence that reportedly led to the death of a child in mother’s womb.

Dr Nibha Sinha was arrested here on Wednesday (May 11) after a case was registered by the victim’s husband Ranjit Mehtar. The arrest comes a month after the case was lodged.

In his complaint, Ranjit Mehtar said he admitted his wife Pooja Devi to Dr Sinha’s clinic after she developed labour pain but the doctor refused to attend her until she was paid Rs 10,000, reports Bihar Post quoting the Police officials.

The complainant alleged that the doctor just refused to show any mercy on him even though he promised to deposit the money the very next morning. This led to the death of his child ultimately but luckily her wife survived.

“The evidence found during the course of investigation is sufficient to establish charges of criminal negligence against the doctor,” Jamui superintendent of police Jayant Kant has been quoted as saying.

Local doctors later proceeded on strike to protest the arrest of Dr Sinha. The state unit of the Indian Medical Association (IMA) has sought immediate release of the arrested doctor, terming the charges against her as “false and baseless”.

“The charge against Dr Sinha is false and baseless. We request you for her immediate release or we will go on strike,” IMA Bihar president Dr Sachchidanand Kumar and secretary Dr Harihar Dikshit said in a joint letter to the state DGP.

Speaking to India Medical Times, Dr Dikshit said, “Dr Sinha has been accused of medical negligence by some local resident who has filed a case against her. After which she was arrested. As per the Jacob Mathew vs State of Punjab judgement, whenever medical negligence is there, a medical board should be placed to look into the case after which the accused can be arrested, if the allegation turns out to be true. But in this case, they have arrested her. Actually, this case comes under Section 304A of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) but they have charged the doctor under Section 304 of the IPC along with the Harijan Act.”

Dr Dikshit further said, “IMA wants the immediate release of the arrested doctor as the charges against her are false and baseless. We have sent a letter to the state DGP asking her immediate release or we will go on strike.”

Dr Sahjanand Prasad Singh and Dr Brijnandan Kumar from IMA Patna have already visited Jamui to take stock of the situation.

Dr Amit Ranjan, a paediatrician posted at the Primary Health Centre (PHC), Khaira in Jamui, told India Medical Times, “On 18th April 2016, a patient was admitted in Dr Nibha Sinha’s clinic and at night during delivery the child was dead. Actually, it was a stillbirth. The patient was discharged next day. Later, he filed a case of negligence along with the Harijan Act. The police came one or two times but they never consulted the case with the doctor.”

“On 11th May, Dr Sinha was suddenly arrested without any information. She was dragged like a criminal from her hospital to the police station. We were called and informed by a compounder,” said Dr Ranjan.

He further said, “The police has also filed a case against Dr Sinha under Section 304 of the IPC and as per the rules, at least a DSP rank police officer should be there for the arrest but all were inspectors.”

“We all doctors, almost 300, have done peaceful flag-march to show our protest. All the doctors of Munger Pramandal are on an indefinite strike. If she (Dr Sinha) will be discharged, we will call off the strike. We are providing emergency services in government hospitals but private clinics are closed,” added Dr Ranjan.

by Pooja Pandey

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