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pakistan
Saturday Jun 03 2017
By

Doctors at Umerkot hospital protest medical superintendent's arrest over sewer cleaner's death

UMERKOT: Doctors at the Civil Hospital Umerkot went on strike on Saturday against the arrest of Medical Superintendent Dr Jaam Kunbhar over the death of sewer cleaner Irfan Maseeh.

Attendants accompanying patients at the hospital were concerned over the unavailability of doctors at the facility to treat patients.

A person brought to the hospital after being bitten by a snake was still waiting to get treated as all the wards, including the emergency department, were closed by the protesting staff. Even the drugstore was shuttered. 

Later, Health Director General Dr Akhlaq Khan visited the Civil Hospital Umerkot, where he said according to hospital records and statements, Irfan's death was not a result of the doctor's negligence. 

He added that Irfan had died before he was brought to the hospital. 

However, the director general believed doctors were at fault to some extent. 

He added that an "investigation into the matter will be carried out by a two-member team." 

While talking to Geo News, a family member of the deceased said when they were at the hospital with Irfan, Dr Yousuf came in the emergency ward looked at them worrying for Irfan's treatment, but went to saunter outside. "Even Dr Jaam came in but told us to first clean Irfan," the relative said. "He was alive when we had taken him to the hospital." 

Umerkot police had told Geo.tv that cases against six suspects, including Kunbhar, Dr Yousuf and Dr Allah Dad Rathore were registered under sections 319 and 34 of Pakistan Penal Code on behalf of the deceased's father.

Section 34 deals with acts done by several persons over common intention, while Section 319 punishes for qat-i-khata i.e. causing the death of a person without any intention to do so.

According to Irfan's brother Pervaiz, he died on Thursday after Dr Yousuf at Civil Hospital Umerkot refused to immediately treat him saying he was fasting and wanted Irfan's sludge covered body to be cleaned first. The staff's negligence and lack of equipment at the hospital led to Irfan's death, Pervaiz said. 

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