The row over the alleged absence of a government medical team to examine Chief Minister Oommen Chandy after he suffered injuries in stone-throwing by suspected Left Democratic Front (LDF) here on October 27 has left Health Department officials at the receiving end of criticism. However, they deny any negligence on their part in attending to the injured Chief Minister and offering him proper medical care.

There are media reports of medical negligence by the Health Department here in providing proper treatment to the Chief Minister immediately after he suffered injuries. Mr. Chandy was examined in a private hospital here over two hours after he sustained injuries on his forehead and chest. He had attended the closing ceremony of the State police athletic meet and a rally of the Congress soon after the attack.

Immediately after the incident, District Collector Rathan Kelkar spoke over phone to District Medical Officer (DMO) K.J. Reena, who was then on board a train to Thiruvananthapuram to attend a meeting. She told the Collector that the superintendent of the government hospital here would be immediately instructed to ensure treatment to the injured Chief Minister.

When contacted, Mr. Kelkar told The Hindu that he was informed by the DMO that a medical team was accompanying the Chief Minister’s convoy. He was told by the DMO that a doctor on duty had examined the Chief Minister at the venue of the athletic meet.

Dr. Reena, when contacted, said that she had sought explanation from the hospital superintendent in the wake of the controversy. She said a government doctor attached to the Kerala Armed Police Battalion IV, who was present at the venue, had examined the Chief Minister and recommended dressing for the bruises and X-ray. As the X-ray unit at the hospital could not be operated that day because of the absence of the staff, the Chief Minister had been urged to go to a private hospital, she said. The Chief Minister declined dressing saying the bruises were not serious, she said adding that he was not interested in going to a private hospital for undergoing X-Ray examination.

A government doctor had gone to the private hospital as soon as the Health Department officials here were informed of the Chief Minister’s visit there on Sunday night for medical examination, she said adding that by the time the doctor reached there, the Chief Minister had left there after the examination and dressing.

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