The Directorate of Health Services has issued orders transferring a few doctors attached to the Mental Health Centre (MHC), Thiruvananthapuram; District Hospital, Kollam; Taluk hospital, Karunagapally; and Taluk Hospital, Kottarakkara; following the report of the Vigilance Cell at the DHS that inquired into the role of doctors in the alleged torture and killing of Satnam Singh at the MHC. The government has issued orders terminating the contract of Veena G. Tilak, a psychiatrist who had retired from Health Service and had been posted at the MHC by the National Rural Health Mission.
Maya Raghavan, RMO at MHC, has been transferred to CHC Attingal and Ramachandran Pillai, a psychiatrist, has been transferred to the General Hospital here. Harish Mani, doctor at the Kollam District Hospital has been transferred to Taluk hospital, Kadakkal, while Chintha Sukumaran at Karunagapally taluk hospital has been transferred to CHC Thazhava in Kollam district. Sources said Kiran, doctor at Kottarakkara taluk hospital had also been issued transfer orders.
All these doctors had examined or treated Satnam Singh at some point of time after he was apprehended by the Karunagapally police on charges of attempting to assault Mata Amritanandamayi. According to the report submitted by the Health Vigilance Cell, the doctors had committed the error of not properly conducting a physical examination on Singh.
The Kerala Government Medical Officers’ Association has registered its protest at the manner in which doctors were being implicated in the murder of Satnam Singh, `quoting minor technical errors’. A spokesperson of KGMOA said the patient had been exhibiting violent behaviour all along and it was not fair to expect a doctor to conduct a detailed physical examination on such a patient.
The KGMOA said the government was looking to make scapegoats out of the doctor following pressure from various levels, while totally ignoring the fact that the MHC’s 509 in-patients and the average daily OP cases of 300 were all being managed by just eight doctors and two administrators. Doctors may decide to boycott all OP clinics in hospitals on Friday, KGMOA spokesperson said.