PUCL Bulletin, August 2001

Punjab medics group condemned for protecting a doctor accused of rape

INSAAF International strongly condemns the stand of PCMS Association, Bhatinda in protecting a doctor accused of death of a young poor mother. Instead of striving to uphold the medical ethics and provide health care to poor people, it has become an instrument of protection of a few corrupt and inefficient doctors. INSAAF also urges the Punjab government to close butcher houses running in the name of family planning units slaying the innocent poor women, if it can not provide honest, efficient and ethical doctors to run this important National Family Planning program.

The government hospitals are reduced to 'fish catching' centers (luring patients for the private clinics of government doctors) due to the well-organized nexus of corrupt from lower to higher level in the government health department.
Weather it is deaths at Khannori or at Bhatinda, the health officials try to save the guilty doctors. In the recent MTP (Abortion) and Tubectomy death of a patient Lachami, operated at Bhatinda, INSAAF reliably learnt that the senior health officials from Bhatinda and Chandigarh camped at Patiala where post mortem of the victim was being conducted in an attempt to distort the facts of the case. The post mortem was delayed more than 30 hours. Later attempts were made at Bhatinda to hush up the case. Today the formation of the inquiry committee by the civil surgeon Bhatinda to investigate this case is nothing but a farce. The committee comprises such doctors who are heading a campaign in support of the doctor who is accused of being responsible of causing death of a poor mother of four little children.

Though Health Minister and bureaucrats keep issuing statements to take stern action against doctors indulging in corrupt practices, but totally fail to give any practical shape to their words for obvious reasons.

At Bhatinda, a few notoriously corrupt doctors are being protected for many years by unscrupulous bureaucrats and political masters resulting in deaths and disease of many innocent and poor people. If they really mean to implement what they say and improve heath services in the state especially for poor people and curb corrupt practices of government doctors, stringent action should be taken against the culprits.

INSAAF offers full cooperation to government to expose large-scale corrupt practices indulged in by some government doctors at Bhatinda.

-- Dr. Vineeta Gupta, General Secretary, INSAAF International, Bhatinda 14.6.01

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