COVID-19: MS Rajouri suspended for disclosing suspected patient’s name

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Srinagar: The Jammu and Kashmir Government has placed under suspension medical superintendent of Associated Hospital Rajouri, Dr. Raghuvir Singh, for disclosing name of person who was recognized as a potential coronavirus (COVID-19) patient in the district.

As per protocol, if any suspect case comes under tracking, it is imperative for the Health Department to keep the same person firstly either in Home Quarantine or in quarantine ward established in Hospitals, till incubation period and samples are to be sent at designated laboratories for further diagnosis.

One person who had returned from Saudi Arabia and suffering from fever and Cold was brought to Associated Hospital, Rajouri on Saturday morning and doctors decided to keep him in Isolation ward there as a suspect case of novel corona virus.

The Medical Superintendent wrote a letter to the incharge Police Post, GMC and AH Rajouri, wherein he clearly mentioned the identity of the suspect, which is against the ruling of the Supreme Court where privacy of the patient is to be maintained, reads an order  by Deputy Commissioner Rajouri.

“Due to the disclosure of privacy of the suspect case, panic was spread among his relatives who met him, after his arrival, residing in the area where the suspect belongs to, which made the situation more worsen (sic),” reads the order.

“Indian Medical Council (Professional Conduct, etiquettes and Ethics) Regulations, 2002 stresses that confidence concerning Individual or domestic life, entrusted by patient to a physician and defects in the disposition or character of the patients observed during medical attendance should never be revealed unless their revelation is required by the Laws of the State  or Union Territory”.

Under Rule 7.14 of the Regulations 2002, it is imperative that the registered Medical practitioner shall not disclose the secret of patient, that have been learnt in the exercise of his/her profession except 1 in a court of Law under order of presiding Judge or in circumstances where there is serious identified risk to a specific person or commodity and in notifiable disease.

“…Pending enquiry, Dr. Raghuvir Singh, Medical Superintendent, AH GMC Rajouri is hereby placed under suspension, for sharing the details of the patient and not maintaining the privacy, which is sheer violation of Charter of Patients’ rights, issued by Ministry of Health and Family welfare, Gol and Professional conduct rules of Medical Council of India & dereliction of duties,” the deputy commissioner ordered.

He has been attached with the office of the Chief Medical Officer, Rajouri during the period of suspension. Principal Govt Medical College Rajouri has been asked to make alternate arrangement, so that work may not suffer in the Associated Hospital, GMC Rajouri. (GNS)

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