Maternal Deaths: Doctor could face sanctions Chief Medical Officer predicts

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Deceased: Rashanna Dindayal (Left) Deceased: Navita Maraj (Right)

The National Maternal Mortality Committee has reviewed the reports following the conclusion of investigations into cases of maternal fatalities in recent months. According to the committee’s recommendations, at least one Doctor is likely to face disciplinary action. Chief Medical Officer Dr. Narine Singh, disclosed this information in an exclusive interview with They Break News.

“So far all of the cases have been investigated and the case will be sent to the medical council for review and for possible disciplinary action against the Doctors,” he stated.

Dr. Singh, a member of the National Maternal Mortality Committee, resisted giving more information on the particular case. However, he emphasized that current practices require each maternal death to investigated by the hospital where it happened, after which the National Maternal Mortality Committee reviews the report and make recommendations that are then reviewed by the Minister of Health.

In reference to the recent events, he pointed out that in certain cases, recommendations outlined that the facilities could have been avoided.

If there has been egregious negligence, the Guyana Nursing Council or the Medical Council may be contacted to take disciplinary action against the responsible practitioners.

Dr. Singh pointed out that a lot of the maternal deaths are as a result of systemic issues at the health facilities rather than blaming one individual for the unfortunate occurrence.

He revealed that that council is entrusted with ensuring that the evidence and facts of the case point to negligence before disciplinary action can be taken against the medical practitioner.

Dr. Singh made the point that rather than putting the blame on a single person, many maternal deaths are the consequence of systemic problems within the healthcare facilities.

Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Narine Singh

Navita Maraj, a 39-year-old mother of five from Helena Mahaica, died in labor at Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation (GPHC) in October. Additionally, on October 20, Rashanna Dindayal, 31, of Lodge, and her unborn child passed away at the medical institution.

A 40-year-old pregnant woman from Region Six also died at the Ocean View Infectious Diseases Hospital, according to reports from the health authorities. Prior to being transferred, the woman was a patient at the New Amsterdam Hospital. The Georgetown Public Hospital reported the deaths of a 19-year-old woman and the stillbirth of her first twin in the second case, which also happened last month. Due to strong confidentiality agreements in the healthcare system, none of the victims were identified.

Health Minister, Dr. Frank Anthony promised to launch an impartial investigation into the most recent maternal deaths, which he described as extraordinarily complex situations.

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