The Jammu and Kashmir government on Sunday suspended three members of Srinagar's District Medical Board following the death of a differently-abled class 10 student outside their office, an official said. The student, suffering from acute muscular dystrophy, entailing extreme muscle weakness and inability to do normal muscular works like walking, swallowing etc, had approached the DMB office with his mother and sister to secure a certificate of his medical condition, he said.
The boy needed the certificate for the J&K Board of School Education (JKBOSE) to allow him to have a scribe to write his class 10 examination, the J&K government spokesperson said, adding the JKBOSE had denied him the permission to have the scribe earlier. As he reached the medical board, his mother and sister went inside the board's office, leaving him inside the vehicle, to request the board members to examine him in the vehicle itself outside their office due to the severe disability of the boy and lack of the requisite facilities inside the office, the official said.
The board doctors, however, refused to accompany them to the vehicle outside to examine the student, hailing from Chanapora area of Srinagar, he said. Meanwhile, the boy suffered breathlessness while waiting outside the medical board's office but the board doctors did not attend on him even after coming to know of his deteriorating condition, he said.
The boy's mother and sister rushed him to a nearby hospital where he was declared brought dead, said the spokesperson, adding none of the medical board officials or attendants even accompanied the ailing teenager to the hospital. The government spokesperson said the suspended medical board members include Dr Neelofar, a consultant physician of Ganderbal sub-district hospital, Medical Officer Shuja Rashid of Leper Hospital and Srinagar's Government Gousia Hospital's ophthalmologist, Dr Farhan Bashir.
A nursing orderly, Ghulam Hassan, too was suspended, following the death of the boy, the spokesperson said. The suspension order was issued by Kashmir's Health director on the recommendation of the Kashmir additional commissioner.
The government made the intervention after a video clip of the ailing boy's sister surfaced on social media. In the video, the boy's sister alleged that her brother Suhaib died at the door of the Well Mission Health Centre, Jawahar Nagar, Srinagar due to the negligence and unbecoming behaviour of the Medical Board doctors and staff member.
Taking cognisance of the video clip, Lieutenant Governor's advisor Farooq Khan, who is also in charge of the Social Welfare Department, sought a factual report on the incident from the SWD's principal secretary and ordered the suspensions. On the principal secretary's report, the LG advisor also asked the Education Department authorities to take strict action against the JKBOSE officers for earlier denying the student the permission to avail the services of a writer to assist him in the examination.