Darul Sehat Hospital Closure; Was This ‘Solution’ Worth It?

By H Hasan

Whatever has happened at Darul Sehat is most unfortunate and there is no denying the fact that a medical error resulted in the death of little Nashwa, who crashed after an injection was wrongly administered to her and she was transferred to the ICU and put on a ventilator.
Will the closure or sealing of the hospital catering to over 1 million people in and around Gulistan-e-Johar in Karachi, help or aggravate the miseries of the people living in the area? Instead of putting things right, will the closure of the hospital serve a better purpose? Where will the patients go in the absence of any other tertiary care hospital in the vicinity?
Darul Sehat is a teaching hospital, sealing of which will put at stake the career of thousands of students. It is time that the administration and people of the area sit down and devise methods to prevent such incidents from occurring in the future. The staff employed should be better trained and better qualified.
Hospital has already reiterated its deepest condolences to Nashwa’s family over her sad demise. Dr Navid Rashid said that the hospital is fully committed to following the SHCC’s recommendations in letter and spirit to minimise the possibility of any such incident in future.
The hospital administration has confirmed that the culprits involved in the criminal negligence have been fired and are in police custody, and that they are complying with all the directives issued by the SHCC.
“It’s claimed that nursing assistant Moiz and the midwife were untrained, but the hospital maintains that they both had the required certification”. In case they did not then the minister of health, DG health and people in similar senior positions should also be held responsible and replaced so that their mistakes are not repeated.
In a press conference Dr Rashid said, “Although we’re not making it an excuse for any such unfortunate incident, medical errors do occur in even the most developed countries,”. He quoted a study by John Hopkins that medical errors are the third biggest cause of death in the US, as 250,000 deaths occur a year due to medical errors. However, there’s no instance of sealing a hospital on such errors. Instead, they focus on finding the solutions to rectify mistakes and avoid them in future”, he added.
The question is will the closure solve the problem? It is time that some sense should prevail, and all stakeholders should work towards improving the facility rather than shutting it down completely.

May 2, 2019

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