Indecision stalls probe into forensic expert's suspension

Indecision stalls probe into forensic experts suspension
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The probe into the suspension of a woman forensic expert has hit a roadblock amid confusion between Goa\'s Directorate of Health Services and state health department over appointment of an inquiry officer.

Panaji: The probe into the suspension of a woman forensic expert has hit a roadblock amid confusion between Goa's Directorate of Health Services and state health department over appointment of an inquiry officer. Dr Svetlana Gomes, who was heading the forensic department of government's Hospicio Hospital in South Goa, was placed under suspension for alleged indiscipline over three months back. When asked about the matter, state Director of Health Services Sanjiv Dalvi told PTI that, "It is for the Public Health Department to appoint an authority to set up inquiry against Dr Gomes.

We can't do that." On the other hand, a senior Public Health Department officer claimed that it is for health directorate to conduct the inquiry since the doctor was attached to it. "It is for the DHS to conduct inquiry into the matter. We have no role to play in it," a senior official from health department said on condition of anonymity. Gomes, who is among the 20 women doctors in the country practising in the field of forensic medicine, was suspended on December 16, 2016 for alleged indiscipline. "For last more than three months, she has been reporting to DHS in Panaji without any inquiry," said a senior doctor at Goa Medical College and Hospital (GMCH).

"The forensic department of Hospicio hospital has also been affected as two other morgue attendants were also suspended in January this year," he said adding that no inquiry has been held in their suspension also. Two morgue attendants – Menino Pereira and Ratnakar Velip – were suspended on January 13 this year for alleged indiscipline by Directorate of Health Services administrative head Raju Gawas. When contacted, state health secretary Sudhir Mahajan said, "I will enquire why there is delay and get back to you." In the absence of a full-time forensic doctor, a team of GMCH has to be rushed every time to Hospicio Hospital, located in Margao town, to conduct postmortems.

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