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PG degree of 2 senior Fortis Neonatologist, Pediatrician under scrutiny: HC seeks response from NMC, Delhi Medical Council
New Delhi: The National Medical Commission (NMC), Delhi Medical Council (DMC) and the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) have been directed by the Delhi High Court to furnish response in context of a plea seeking Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) inquiry into the post graduate degrees of two senior doctors working as child specialists/ super-specialist at Fortis Hospital in...
New Delhi: The National Medical Commission (NMC), Delhi Medical Council (DMC) and the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) have been directed by the Delhi High Court to furnish response in context of a plea seeking Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) inquiry into the post graduate degrees of two senior doctors working as child specialists/ super-specialist at Fortis Hospital in Delhi.
A single judge bench of the Delhi High Court headed by Justice Yogesh Khanna on February 23 directed the authorities to look into the matter, and also sought response from the two doctors who are running the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) for critically ill newborn babies in Fortis Hospital, Shalimar Bagh.
The court was hearing a petition filed by the mother of a victim child, who alleged that the two doctors, whose 'negligence' left her son Devarsh Jain bedridden for life, claim to be specialist and super specialist, but they do not hold the requisite qualifications.
The petitioner's plight started in August 2017 when her son Devarsh suffered brain injury in the said hospital. The injury became known after several months when the child grew. The child was born at Fortis in August 2017 and was initially declared unwell by the hospital immediately after the delivery through C-section.
She had filed a petition in the Delhi High Court in 2019 and alleged that the hospital treated her child for 12 days in ICU and discharged him on the basis of a wrong medical summary saying that he was normal.
“However, the truth was otherwise and the child was not healthy as certified by the accused doctors. As stated above, the child turned into a vegetable in the next 7 months and is presently suffering with unabated Cerebral Palsy and Epilepsy along with "West Syndrome"." the petitioner argued.
She alleged before the court that the doctors concealed the facts as a consequence of which the child remained deprived of any medical treatment and kept suffering infantile spasm/seizures for over seven months at home till his brain got completely damaged.
This has rendered the child permanently disabled, both mentally and physically, she added.
“Today he is suffering from acute epilepsy and cerebral palsy, and is diagnosed with a rare medical condition called the 'West Syndrome',” she alleged in her petition in 2019.
An FIR was also lodged in this case in 2019.
During the pendency of these issues, the applicant, in a fresh plea on February 23, alleged that she got hold of the educational certificates of the two doctors recently and they tend to show that they cannot practice as specialist and super specialist as they lack formal training and education for the same. The petitioner argued;
“It was further discovered that, even today they are practising as Neonatologist and Pediatricians at Fortis Hospital in full fledged control of the Neonatal ICU, thereby putting lives of critically sick new born babies to imminent danger.”
Sachin Jain and Ajay Kumar Agarwal, who are the advocates for the victim, have alleged that Fortis Hospital had appointed one of the doctors as Director and HOD of Neonatology and that he was practicing as a super specialist neonatologist for treating neonates in Intensive Care unit, which he cannot legally do.
Sachin, who also happens to be the father of the victim child, further alleged that the medical education certificates of the doctor show that he obtained an MBBS degree in 2004, and thereafter he was admitted to membership of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (MRCPCH) from the United Kingdom in 2007.
Sachin said he did extensive research and found that these two qualifications were not adequate to practice as a specialist paediatrics.
Regarding the other doctor, the petitioner in her application, alleged that he too was operating as Senior Consultant Neonatology Paediatrics/Neonatology at the hospital, handling critically ill newborn babies in Neonatal ICU. However, his medical education certificates show that he obtained MBBS in 1996 and a diploma in child health (Dip CH) from the Indian College of Maternal and Child health (ICMCH), she said.
“ICMCH is not accredited or recognised by MCI/NMC as a postgraduate medical qualification which is required to practice as a specialist (pediatrics), leave alone super specialist (neonatology),” senior lawyer Mohit Mathur told the court while arguing the case for the victim.
The petitioner has demanded an investigation by the Central Bureau of investigation (CBI) into the matter.
However, the DMC has already exonerated the hospital and held that “no medical negligence could be attributed on the part of the doctors of Fortis Hospital, Shalimar Bagh, New Delhi in the treatment of the complainant's baby…”
The hospital has also defended the doctors and said they have unblemished medical records.
“They are highly qualified doctors and there is no problem with their educational qualifications,” a hospital source told PTI, adding that they will also file their replies to the court.
Examining the case, the single judge bench, on February 23 said that before proceeding further it would be appropriate to seek response from various medical regulatory bodies as well as the accused doctors. Justice Khanna said in its order noted;
“Response be filed by them within three weeks from today with an advance copy to learned counsel for State, Union of India and the counsel for the petitioner, who shall file their reply within two weeks thereafter.”
The matter has been listed for further hearing on April 19.
To view the original order click on the link below:
Farhat Nasim joined Medical Dialogue an Editor for the Business Section in 2017. She Covers all the updates in the Pharmaceutical field, Policy, Insurance, Business Healthcare, Medical News, Health News, Pharma News, Healthcare and Investment. She is a graduate of St.Xavier’s College Ranchi. She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org Contact no. 011-43720751