After the Madras High Court quashed its earlier order to unseal Sudha Hospitals in Erode and Salem, the Indian Medical Association (IMA) observed a day-long strike on Saturday (August 6) condemning the Tamil Nadu government’s urgency to seal the Erode hospital soon after the high court’s order.
In June, based on a complaint from a relative of a 16-year-old girl, mother of the girl, her boyfriend and an agent were arrested by the Tamil Nadu Police for allegedly forcing the minor girl to sell her oocyte to the private hospitals. In this regard, the Tamil Nadu State Health department had formed a committee to investigate the involvement of the private hospitals.
The inquiry revealed that four private hospitals in Tamil Nadu, namely two branches of Sudha Hospitals in Erode and Salem, Ram Prasad Hospital in Perundurai and Vijaya Hospital in Hosur, one private hospital each in Kerala and Karnataka had knowingly received the oocytes of the minor girl. Based on the report, on July 14, the health department officials sealed the four private hospitals including Sudha Hospital in Erode.
Soon after the incident, the hospital approached the Madras High Court seeking for relief, and the court on July 21, quashed the government order on sealing the hospital premises.
The State government went for an appeal before the larger bench and the Madras High Court on August 5 (Friday), quashed its earlier order and allowed the government to seal the hospital.
Sensing that the health officials would seal the hospital, on Friday evening, the hospital staff in Erode sat on a dharna in front of the hospital stopping the health officials from sealing the hospital.
Police pacified the crowd, after which they dispersed from the place. In this regard, Erode unit of the IMA observed a one-day strike on Saturday.
“The urgency that is being showed to seal the scan centre of the hospital was not shown when the single judge asked to remove the seal. On Friday itself the officials visited the place with the intention to seal the centre even as the hospital was yet to receive the full order of the court,” said CN Raja, National Vice President of IMA.
According to him, as many as 250 private hospitals and about 800 doctors in the Erode district participated in the protest.
Even as the doctors were on strike, on Saturday evening around 5.30 pm, the health department officials sealed the scan centre of the Sudha hospitals in Erode and Salem and, it was given a month’s time to vacate its patients to shut the hospitals as well.
Meanwhile, Tamil Nadu Police have also invoked National Security Act (NSA) against the three accused arrested for forcing the minor to sell Oocytes.
“The NSA would help in detaining them for a year during which the police would finish their inquiry and submit the final charge sheet before the court and hold them guilty for their offence,” said Tamil Nadu Health Minister Ma Subramanian.