Delhi's Renowned Gynaecologist at Ganga Ram Hospital Succumbs to Covid-19 Complications at 86
New Delhi: In an unfortunate incident, the renowned obstetrician and gynaecologist Dr SK Bhandari associated with Sri Ganga Ram Hospital breathed her last succumbing to the Covid-19 related complications on Thursday around 2 pm in the afternoon.
Although the doctor was initially admitted to the hospital for some heart-related issues, she later tested positive for the virus, which worsened her health resulting in her sad demise. The doctor had taken both the jabs of the Covid-19 vaccine. Her husband (97) and daughter have also contracted the virus and are undergoing treatment.
The late doctor was one of the longest-serving doctors at the hospital and she joined the hospital 58 years ago after completing her post-graduation from London. Currently, she was working as the Emeritus Consultant at the hospital.
She was coming to the hospital during the first wave of the pandemic but stopped coming after she developed heart-related issues. She was offering consultation from her home, PTI has reported.
Dr DS Rana, chairman of Sir Ganga Ram Hospital told PTI that she was the one who established the gynaecology and obstetrics department of the hospital and even though she was not an IVF specialist, she encouraged doctors in setting up the facility at the hospital.
Her husband, a retired IAS officer, aged 97, is also in the ICU after he tested positive for Covid-19 and he has not been informed about his wife's death, he added.
"She was a very famous name in gynaecology; among the pioneer gynaecologists in the country. She joined SGRH in 1962 and worked here for nearly 58 years. When I had joined SGRH in the 1980s, there were only two big names in gynaecology. One was Dr Sheela Mehra who passed away, and the other was her. She was an Emeritus Consultant and was working till almost six months back. Last year, she had a mild heart attack but she continued to work. However, in the last one-two months, her heart issues were creating a problem," Dr Rana told Indian Express.
"Recently, she was admitted for heart failure but then she was found to be Covid positive. This worsened her heart and kidney disease. She was admitted for the last two weeks. Her husband J S Bhandari, a retired IAS officer and Former Secretary, Government of India, is also admitted with Covid pneumonia. He is 97 years old," added Dr Rana, further mentioning that both were fully vaccinated.
Dr Abha Majumdar, director and head of IVF at the Ganga Ram Hospital said there was an unsaid bond between them.
"We hardly had to say anything to each other. I always knew she was there to support me and she knew that I was heading towards my goal. She was like a mother figure and she was the one who helped me realise my calling," she told PTI.
Dr Majumdar had joined the hospital in February 1987 and was taking care of the free infertility OPD on Thursdays. After almost a year, Dr Bhandari, who was the head of the Obstetrics and Gynaecology Department asked her about her area of interest and she said it was infertility treatment. She encouraged us to explore the field, she recalled.
"She had the vision. When she learnt I was interested in infertility treatment, she said that you will have to put your whole and soul into it and you won't be taking up general gynae cases. I was advised by so many other obstetrics and gynaecologists that how will you manage your bread and butter doing IVF? I give my full credit to Dr Bhandari because she pushed me," she said.
She was so proud and there was an oration on her mother's birth anniversary in Ranchi. She asked me to give a lecture there and it was a proud moment "for me".
"I went to the Covid ward to see her. Though she never taught me, she was always proud. She never said it in so many words but she always made me that she chose the right person for the job. She was a mother figure for a lot of people," she added.
"She was sure that I won't let her down," she recalled.
Dr Bhandari, one of the renowned gynaecologist of the country had delivered Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, his sister Priyanka Gandhi Vadra and her two children as well.
In a series of tweets, Priyanka Gandhi expressed her condolences for the demise of the senior doctor.
"Dr SK Bhandari, Emeritus Consultant, Sir Ganga Ram Hospital, who delivered my brother, me, my son and my daughter passed away today. Even in her late seventies, she would drive early morning to the hospital herself. A leader to the end, she upheld every noble trait of humanity. A woman I will always respect and admire, a friend I will always miss," she posted on Twitter.
Dr Bhandari has a daughter, who is also a doctor, and was taking care of her ailing parents. Her husband Dr JS Bhandari had also received the two doses of vaccine.