Students gather at HC, demand to meet CMO
A group of about 40 students, led by Arvind discussion that ensued, the students voiced their Kothari, the President of the Students’ Gymkhana, concerns about the quality of health care services in marched into the Health Centre in the drizzle the HC, apprised them of the incident that Tuesday evening and demanded to see the Chief happened Sunday morning, expressed their anger Medical Officer (CMO) Dr. Nirmal Kumar at the ‘insensitive and irresponsible conduct’ of the immediately . The group had initially assembled at HC employees, demanded some punitive action to the SAC at 6pm to offer their condolences at the be taken by the administration against the ‘guilty’ unfortunate death of a campus worker’s son in the parties and insisted on meeting the CMO. All the wee hours of Sunday morning, due to the lack of officials concurred on the obligation of HC to treat timely treatment of a snake-bite that he had everyone, HC card holder or not, in such critical received. Allegedly, the boy was taken to HC but cases and assured the students of arranging an due to reasons not yet confirmed, he was not audience with the CMO later and also of forming a admitted by the doctor on duty and died en-route to committee to investigate the incident but the city hospital. The gathered students, appalled students remained adamant on speaking to the by what they construed to be a ‘grossly negligent CMO immediately . act’ by the doctor, decided to go to the HC in order to get official reasons for refusing to treat the boy . At the HC’s reception desk, Arvind, on behalf of the student group, asked for the CMO and on being told that he was not in, requested the receptionist to contact him. The staff at the reception tried to call the CMO at his home but no one answered the phone there. On being asked to contact him on cell, they said that they did not have his cell phone’s number and vacated the desk in order to avoid further questions. The students then went to the doctor on duty to check the availability of snake-venom antidote and found that HC did have the antidote. A few more questions were asked to the doctor and then the Seeing the students’ insistence, they went back to students decided to wait until CMO arrived on the arrange for the CMO to come. On Registrar’s scene. After almost an hour of waiting at about 7.30 request two students were also sent. Arun pm some new faces joined the Student group at HC. Raghavan of Hall 4 and G.Sai Srinivas Kiran, The Registrar Mr.Sanjeev Kashalkar, Legal Senator, Y6 UG were the people who went with the Adviser Mr. C.P . Singh and Mr.K.Satyamurthy of Registrar. The group went to the Director to apprise the Director’s Office came down to the scene of him of the situation. Meanwhile, the CMO who action. The Registrar said that he was there only was returning from the city was summoned by the ‘coincidentally’ and had come to meet the Physician Director. for checkup. The trio tried to appease the gathering and initiated dialogue with the students. In the Convener, Students’ Senate Mr.Chirag
Mittal joined the two student representatives in the meeting with the Director. The President was asked by the Director to join the meeting but owing to the situation in HC he expressed his inability to do so. The Student Representatives returned to the HC front desk after an hour at about 9.45 pm without the CMO but with a couple of important announcements from the Director . Firstly , a meeting with the CMO would be arranged the very next day in which the student representatives could voice their concerns. Secondly, a committee would be constituted immediately to look into the incident and submit its report by the end of September for necessary action. The majority of the students, on receivin these assurances from the Director and on realizing that further insistence on seeing the CMO then itself would be unreasonable, started to disperse when to everyone’s surprise the CMO arrived at the scene to talk to the students. A stressed Dr.Nirmal Kumar then faced the volleys of questions by the students. In reply , he said that he was not aware of the details and would be glad to meet the students tomorrow by which time he would have acquainted himself with the available details. He asked the students to send all their queries and complaints to him by email or on paper by the next day so that he could look into them. He once again assured the students of the administration’s resolve to conduct an impartial investigation and to take appropriate action to prevent such incidents in future. The students thanked him for his visit before dispersing.
This article was published in Vox Populi, September 2007