Kottayam: A constricted protest by the nursing community at Government Medical College Hospital (MCH) against a senior surgeon has now led to a “punishment” transfer of the doctor. The nurses made allegations on the doctor of psychologically torturing a trainee nurse.
The matter concerns head of the Department of General Surgery at the hospital, who was given a transfer letter from the health minister’s office on account of mentally torturing a trainee nurse by asking her to lie down in a ward while keeping a tray of medicines over her body.
The nurses alleged that the trainee nurse left the tray on the bed by mistake and went to attend a patient who was just brought to the ICU ward. Though she came back and briefed the doctor about the emergency situation, he directed her to lie on a vacant bed in the same ward and place the tray on her body till he completed his rounds in the ward.
The nurse then filed a complaint with the hospital administration, but no action was allegedly taken against the doctor. The nursing staff of the hospital went on a two-hour strike issue forcing the medical college authorities to invite them for talks.
When the matter came to the notice of Health Minister K K Shailaja, she immediately asked the medical education director to conduct an inquiry into the incident. MCH authorities formed a panel to inquire into the incident. The decision to take action against the doctor was reached after a three-hour long meeting with officials and nurses.
The senior doctor was then transferred after an enquiry committee found that there was a fault from his side in the matter. The decision was announced by the press note from the Health Minister’s office.
Meanwhile, the doctor presented his side of the matter to the health secretary and hospital authorities. He informed that on the day of the incident he arrived at the ICU ward of the surgery department (ward 15) for a routine visit, where he came across 34-year-old patient was in the ICU with multiple tube drains and a pancreatic leak post-surgery. He was wearing an abdomen binder also. The doctor noticed that the nurse had left 2 heavy trays on the body of the patient.When he got to know that it was kept by the trainee nurse, he asked her to lie on the bed only for three minutes just to make her understand the difficulties of the patient who was in a serious condition post-surgery.
Dr Kurian told TOI, “After noticing two trays, each weighing over a kg, placed on his thigh and legs I spoke to the nurse about this. In order to make the trainee nurse feel empathy towards patients, I told her to just lie down and keep the trays on her leg for three minutes.”
The same story was corroborated by the family of the patient who came forward and made counter allegations on the trainee nurse by drafting a complaint to the hospital authorities against the trainee nurse demanding action against her. The brother of the patient said that the trainee nurse had kept two trays with medical equipment on the thighs and legs of the patient and had left to attend another patient.
The doctor told TOI that he was ready to apologise regarding the allegation against him.
“I did it for a good purpose since the behaviour from the part of the nurse was inhuman,” he told the daily