Bangalore: Gynecologist Dr. Veena Singh practicing at Periyapatna Taluk Government Hospital, received a show-cause notice from the State Health and Family Welfare department recently on account of allegedly refusing to visit MLA’s house for his treatment. The issue soon became a bone of contention with the medical fraternity and the politicians with the department of health finally ruling in favour of the doctor.
It is reported that a show cause notice was issued to Dr. Veena last week alleging her for giving an improper response to the request of the local MLA K. Mahadev of the JD(s) to treat him at his home.
The MLA filed a complaint to the privileged committee for the investigation of the case, expecting action against the doctor for “not visiting the house of a sick legislator just 100 metres from the government hospital.”
The whole incident happened on September 18 at night around 9 pm. The doctor was on duty where she was attending a woman in labour. Besides that, there were other accidental cases. She was told by her nurse that a driver, allegedly drunk, wanted her to go to MLA’s house and treat him.
Dr. Veena told TOI, “I was the only doctor on duty that day and was in charge of the casualty too. I was treating a woman in an advanced stage of pregnancy and there was no way I could have left her. However, I called the hospital’s administrative medical officer (AMO) and told him about it. The driver left after speaking with the AMO. But the next day, the MLA came with more than 20 men and started yelling at me. The driver lied that he pleaded before me to visit the MLA’s house.”
Following this, she filed a complaint to the National Commission for Women about which she said, “I mailed the complaint on September 19 after the MLA created a ruckus. But on September 22, the MLA threatened to file a complaint against me with the government. Then I wrote to the commission, requesting to withhold the complaint. But after two days, I got a notice from the department.”
When asked about another side of the incident, Dr. Mahadev claimed that he was listening to the public grievances that evening. He said, “There were nearly a 1,000 people who had gathered near my house. I was feeling tired and collapsed. I sought for the doctor as the hospital is hardly 100 metres from my house. But she refused to come and I was taken to a local medical practitioner.”
On the quest of withdrawing the complaint, he said that he demands an apology letter. the MLA told Hindu, “But the doctor was rude and told me she was busy. I have no animosity against the doctor and will withdraw my complaint if she apologises.”
Karnataka Government Medical Officers’ Association (KGMOA) took it on a serious note and demanded that the notice to be canceled. The KGMOA has also requested Health Minister Shivananda Patil to withdraw the show-cause notice and take no action against the alleged doctor.
Ranganath, President of KGMOA, stated to the Hindu, “The entire government medical fraternity is behind her,” he further added “A patient is a patient whether it is a commoner or an MLA and hence the doctor was right in not complying with the request sent through some unknown persons to treat him at home.”
Finally, in a meeting held regarding the matter, Department of health director S Pushparaj told Express, that the department will not take any action against the doctor as “she has not made any mistake”. He added, “Health Commissioner Pankaj Kumar Pandey decided at a meeting held in Mysuru on Friday that she would not be transferred either.”
S P Yoganna, Secretary of Indian Medical Association, defended Dr. Veena, said that “The doctor going to a patient’s house is not convention”, the practice has always been for patients who visit doctors.
President of IMA, Dr. H N Ravindra said, “It is a case of abuse of power on the part of the MLA because it’s not her job to treat him at his house.”