Relatives arrive at Bambolim to take body for burial only to discover it has been cremated; Question how such a mistake can occur; Health Minister suspends three staff; Inquiry initiated
PANJIM: In a shocking blunder, Goa Medical College (GMC) and Hospital on Friday disposed the body of 24-year-old Januz Gonsalves from Aldona in place of an unclaimed body.
Instead of handing over the unclaimed body of Vishant Naik, 45 years, the hospital officials handed over the body of the Aldona youth, to the Corporation of the City of Panaji (CCP) for disposal.
Januz, an avid footballer had collapsed on September 23 and died on the field while playing, after which the police insisted on an autopsy to ascertain the exact cause of death. Information with Herald reveals that he suffered from gout (arthritis) and as such the doctors had put him on a stringent diet due to which he reportedly lost about 16 kgs in one month.
The preliminary inquiry conducted by Goa Medical College Dean revealed that three staffers were responsible for the goof-up.
“Dr EJ Rodrigues, HoD Forensic and Medicine, Machindra Jhalmi Junior Technician and Prakash Narvekar post-mortem attendant were involved in the disposal of the body,” the report said.
Further the Dean’s report states,s “It has been observed that there has been a very serious lapse on the part of officials in handing over the body without proper verification.”
“I am herewith requesting to appoint the high level independent inquiry committee to conduct a detailed investigation and fix responsibility,” the report said.
Rane suspends HoD, initiates inquiry
Acting quickly, Health Minister Vishwajit Rane has asked GMC Dean Dr Prakash Naik to immediately suspend Rodrigues for “criminal negligence”.
“I am at loss of words what to tell the relatives, this is not a mistake but sheer criminal negligence. I apologised to the family,” Rane said at a hurriedly called press conference.
The Health Minister said that he has also asked for an inquiry by Secretary Ashok Kumar and report within 8 days. “I recommend termination of the staffers who are involved in such negligence which has brought bad name to the institution,” he said, adding a preliminary inquiry has found three staffers guilty and their suspension has been ordered.
Rane also said he has directed the dean and the Medical Superintendent Dr Shivanand Bandekar to file an FIR.
“This is not just negligence, it is criminal negligence and I want it to reach its logical conclusion,” he stated adding the good work done by the GMC in last one year is in the muck.
Rane further said he would also update Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar, who is undergoing treatment in AIIMS.
“I have spoken to DGP Muktesh Chander, Rohan Khaunte and Glenn Ticlo just in case there is any law and order situation considering the sentiments of the people,” he said.