Hyderabad: Did shifting the Delhi gang-rape victim to Singapore hasten her death? Health experts feel that shifting a critically ill patient is not medically advisable and the complications she had developed mid-air prove their argument.
City doctors say that Hyderabad has the medical expertise and hospital infrastructure to deal with severely critical patients and add that there was no medically valid reason for shifting the girl for organ transplant, which was not required at that moment.
“A bad medical case is bad anywhere in the world, whether in India, the US or Singapore. The girl should not have been shifted till her condition had stabilised. India has expert doctors and even a government-run hospital like Safdarjung, where the girl was initially admitted, has successfully dealt with several critical cases in the past,” says internal medicine expert Dr Aftab Ahmed.
Many hospitals in leading countries including Mount Elizabeth Hospital in Singapore, where the girl died while undergoing treatment, have a considerable number of Indian doctors on their rolls.
Infectious diseases expert Dr Suneetha Narreddy argues that a critically ill patient should not be shifted from one hospital to another for additional care that would only be required at a later stage. If the girl was shifted for an organ transplant, it was not a good decision as the primary task was to keep her alive. She should have been shifted to Singapore when she really required the transplant.
Dr A.K. Purohit, head of Neurology, Nims, says India has all the facilities and medical expertise and there was no medically valid reason to shift the girl. “Patients from around the world take treatment in India and Indian doctors head several major hospital departments in the world,” he adds.
Dr A.G.K. Gokhale, chief cardiothoracic, transplant and minimal access surgeon, Yashoda Hospital, says, “It was a sensitive issue. I think the government’s decision to move her out of the country was more of a face-saving measure. I do not think anyone anywhere in the world could have done anything for her. And she needed an intestinal transplant, which is not done in our country. Everyone knew her situation was bad but the government did what it could. But at the same time it shows where we stand.”
Experts argue that shifting of a critically ill patient would only result in more trauma and this is what happened in this case.
City doctors also feel that the girl should have been admitted to AIIMS or some corporate hospital in Delhi instead of a government hospital. It is an insult to India and Indian doctors’ expertise, they say, adding that if the government feels India does not have proper medical facilities, it is high time it created them.