Resident doctor found dead at Nair Hospital, three booked for abetment

Administration proposes to set up an inquiry committee into incident, awaits police permission

A second-year resident doctor with the B.Y.L. Nair Hospital in Mumbai Central allegedly committed suicide in her hostel room on Wednesday evening.

According to doctors from the hospital, the incident came to light after 7 p.m. on Wednesday. Payal Tadvi (26) from the Obstetrics and Gynaecology department was on call on Wednesday evening, but did not respond to the calls from the hospital.

‘Went to take rest’

“We were told that she had finished two Operation Theatre duties in the morning and left for her hostel to rest for a while. Since she was on-call, the authorities tried to reach her in the evening, but could not get through. Her roommates and seniors went to check on her. When she did not respond despite several knocks on the door, they called for the security. Meanwhile, after several attempts to open the door from outside, one doctor managed to slightly push it open. Upon peeping in, they found that she had committed suicide,” a doctor from the hospital said.

“We tried to resuscitate her by administering cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) but she was already in the state of rigor mortis,” the doctor added.ADVERTISING

Payal’s fellow doctors immediately informed the hospital authorities, who in turn informed the police.

The Agripada police have registered an offence against three doctors from the hospital, after Payal’s mother registered a complaint against them.

The deceased Payal Tadvi was harassed by the three doctors as she belonged to a lower caste, her family members alleged. On the basis of a complaint lodged by Tadvi’s parents, the Agripada police have registered a case against Dr Hema Ahuja, Dr Bhakti Mehar and Dr Ankita Khandilwal under section 306 (abetment for suicide) of the Indian penal code (IPC), sections of the SC/ST Atrocities Act, Anti-Ragging Act and Information Technology Act, 2000.

Abeda Salim Tadvi, 53, Tadvi’s mother, said that she used to often visit Nair Hospital for her cancer treatment.

“Whenever I visited the hospital, I noticed that the three doctors would not allow my daughter to meet me. On Wednesday, at around 4pm, Tadvi gave me a call and started crying and narrated the harassment she was facing. I ensured her that we will visit her on Thursday and look for solutions to the problem,” Abeda said.

Tadvi’s family claimed that Tadvi was also harassed on a group that was made for doctors on WhatsApp. The doctors used to humiliate her on the group as she belonged to scheduled caste (SC).

“A few months back, Tadvi had sent us screenshots of the chat on the WhatsApp group. We had approached the superintendent of police of Jalgaon complaining about the issue. However, we have submitted the chats to the police now,” said Tadvi’ relative.

Salim Tadvi, Tadvi’s father, has appealed to the police to take strict actions against the three doctors who took his daughter’s life.

While a post-mortem was conducted later in the day, an urgent meeting was held by the hospital authorities and doctors on the intervening night of Thursday followed by another one at 11 a.m. in the morning.

Dr. Ramesh Bharmal, dean, Nair Hospital said that if the police permits, the hospital management will set up an inquiry committee to “look into the incident” and take steps to prevent such incidents in the future. “The matter is sub judice. The police have interacted with the doctors in the hospital and are conducting their probe. If they permit, will we form our internal inquiry committee,” he said.

Meanwhile, the Central MARD said that they will press for compulsory orientation programs for all resident doctors in the State to prevent an incident of this nature in the future.

‘Orientation for all’

“What has happened is very unfortunate. We will insist on a compulsory orientation program for all resident doctors in the State, explaining the residency scheme to them and empowering them with stress management and communication skills. We will ensure they know how to communicate to their seniors about anything that they may be going through. As far as Nair Hospital is concerned, we are going to suggest having a mentor for each department,” Dr. Kalyani Dongre, president, Central MARD said.

The Hindu