Multan-The operative system to deal with multiple delivery cases at Nishtar Hospital is not in place while post-operative standards and post-natal care system at both Nishtar and Children Complex hospitals are unsatisfactory and poor, discloses the report of an inquest conducted by the Punjab Healthcare Commission (PHC) into deaths of quintuplets.

The inquiry located a number of lacunas, which jeopardised the lives of mother and quintuplets, in the system like non-availability of senior doctors at the hospitals to deal with complicated cases, slow reaction from hospital staff, lack of sense of responsibility and reluctance of junior doctors to handle multiple delivery case due to fear of mishandling, The Nation has learnt.

Sources privy to the matter disclosed that the inquiry team proposed to the PHC to impose fine worth Rs. 50000 on Nishtar Hospital besides taking administrative actions against some doctors who apparently mishandled the case.

The inquiry was conducted by a two-member team of the commission led by Deputy Director (Complaints) Dr Wajid Ali, who visited Multan and Muzaffargarh in October to investigate into the matter.

The PHC took up the issue and ordered an inquiry following the publication of a news regarding deaths of quintuplets in The Nation on October 7.

Hazrat Bibi, wife of one Qari Abdul Ghafoor, a prayer leader in a remote village of Muzaffargarh, gave birth to five premature babies on Eid day, 2nd of September, out of which three lost their lives. The father of the quints held medics responsible for the deaths of three neonates. He alleged that first the doctors at five big hospitals of Multan and Muzaffargarh denied his wife admission during her highly critical labour condition and then they refused to admit his new-born quintuplets.

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The inquiry team recorded the statements of doctors at Nishtar and Children Complex hospitals as well as a private healthcare outlet on Abdali Road besides talking to Qari Abdul Ghafoor, father of the quintuplets.

During the enquiry, the committee came to know that the junior doctors did not approach any senior to handle the case. The report also pinpointed that the concerned staff at the hospitals did not take the responsibility of the case although it should have been dealt with as a special one. Similarly, the pro-active approach to save lives was missing at both Nishtar and Children Complex hospitals, the report further pointed out. The inquest suggested that the cases like that of Hazrat bibi should be taken as special cases and the staff at specialised or tertiary care hospitals should adopt pre-emptive approach to save the lives.

It may not be out of place to mention here that another inquiry into the same incident, ordered by Deputy Commissioner (DC) Multan, is also underway. The two-member inquiry committee comprising Malik Muhammad Shafiq, Additional Deputy Commissioner (HQ), and Mubashir Rehman, AC City, has recorded the statements of the complainant and the accused but the report has not been finalised as yet.