“I have ordered an inquiry against the CMO after the family members of Vartika Srivastava alleged negligence on the part of the CMO in providing medical assistance to the patient,” said Prashad.
Vartika (25), who tested positive for H1N1 virus on January 1, died on Sunday at a private hospital in Allahabad. Though Lucknow-based Sanjay Gandhi Post-Graduate Institute (SGPGI) has confirmed that Vartika was down with swine flu, the CMO refused to acknowledge it.
“I don’t believe the SGPGI’s report. She (Vartika) did not die of swine flu,” Dwivedi said.
Asked about the allegations levelled by Vartika’s family about medical negligence, Dwivedi said: “Am I supposed to visit the patient’s place and pray for her recovery?”
The family has alleged that even after Vartika’s death, the CMO has not ordered collection of samples from the family members and relatives. “Three of us are suffering from cold and fever, and have nausea. But the government doctors are yet to conduct any test to verify whether we are also suffering from swine flu,” said Varika’s uncle D K Srivastava.
Meanwhile, the only swine flu ward at Tej Bahadur District Hospital in Allahabad remained locked even as the district reported the first swine flu death.
According to a doctor, the hospital is yet to make necessary arrangement for swine flu patients as the setting up of a special ward is only on papers. “It took almost half an hour to search the keys of the lock of the swine flu ward when a group of Congressmen staged a protest at the hospital on Monday,” said Mukund Tiwari, a resident of Teliarganj.
“The ward lacks facilities like ventilator, oxygen mask, preventive medicines and suction apparatus. The hospital authorities have pasted a paper signboard indicating it as swine flu ward,” added Tiwari.
Recent media reports stated that the hospital’s swine flu ward remained locked since it was set up in November, 2009. But the CMO termed it as “misleading”. “The media wants to create a hype over the issue. Let the patients come first, we will open the lock,” Dwivedi said.
Meanwhile, the government-owned SRN Hospital at Moti Lal Nehru Medical College opened an eight-bed isolation ward for swine flu patients. However, the doses of Tamiflu syrup and drug have yet not been provided by the CMO to the ward.