No proof of medical negligence in Harris' death in Ernakulam hospital

Government Medical College Hospital, Kalamassery

Thiruvananthapuram: In a relief to the authorities of the Government Medical College, Ernakulam, a one-man committee appointed by the state health department has ruled out medical negligence as was alleged as the reason for the death of a Covid patient named Harris in July.

The report submitted by Dr G S Harikumaran Nair, special officer with the Directorate of Medical Education, stated that Dr Najma Salim, a junior doctor of the medical college, could not furnish proof in support of her allegations pertaining to medical negligence at the hospital located at Kalamassery.

Dr Najma was only an MBBS doctor and she was not a specialist having the expertise of evaluating and understanding the functioning of ICU, the report stated.

What was the row

As Kerala was coming to terms with the upsurge of COVID-19 cases in mid-2020, a voice message that went public online pointed to grave lapses in treatment at the Kalamassery hospital.

Nursing officer Jalaja Devi was heard saying in the clip that C K Haris, a resident of Fort Kochi who was undergoing treatment for Covid at the medical college, had died due to neglect by the healthcare personnel posted in the ICU. Dr Najma Salim also endorsed her view.

Soon, Harris’ relatives demanded a detailed probe into his death.

The tests carried out after his death revealed that Covid infection had affected the functioning of internal organs.

The police report also said that the allegations raised by relatives in connection with the patient's death due to alleged medical negligence were not true.

The preliminary probe conducted by Kalamassery inspector P R Santosh found that there were no lapses which warranted legal action.

Meanwhile, Haris' family members had said the police report was aimed at saving the medical college hospital authorities and would go ahead with the complaint.

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