11:29 GMT +321 August 2018
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    An NHS sign is pictured at St Thomas' Hospital in front of the Big Ben clock face and the Elizabeth Tower on January 13, 2017 in London.

    British Obstetrician 'Sliced Baby's Neck With Scissors' During Delivery

    © AFP 2018 / Isabel Infantes
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    The National Health Service in Britain has faced a consistent barrage of criticism – from funding cuts and privatization to accusations of incompetence and negligence – and the story of a botched delivery at Ninewells Hospital in the Scottish city of Dundee has added to tensions.

    Doctor Vaishnavy Vilvanathan Laxman is said to have sliced a baby’s neck with scissors during delivery, resulting in the child’s death. A Medical Practitioners Tribunal heard that Laxman had allegedly failed to receive the mother’s consent for a vaginal delivery, as well as asked her to push when she was “not in established labor” and “undertook one or more incisions of the cervix without due care.”

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    The infant was reportedly in the breech position, had abnormally low fetal heart rate and a prolapsed umbilical cord, which indicated that the risks of the baby becoming entangled with it were high, but the doctor opted for a vaginal delivery, ignoring a wide range of medical complications indicating that a caesarean section would have been safer.

    As the baby boy died during childbirth, Laxman purportedly failed to provide the mother with adequate anesthesia prior to going on with surgical incisions to extract the fetus, and, according to the Herald, “failed to acknowledge [the mother’s] requests to stop.”

    At the hearing, which is expected to last until June 5, the tribunal will also consider claims that the medic neglected her colleagues, who said that she should proceed with a caesarean delivery, as well as fellow doctor’s warning that the baby’s neck was being stretched.

    Laxman has been suspended from practice in wake of the incident in March 2014.

    The news comes amid mounting concerns over NHS funding: as key health services were overwhelmed by rising demand during winter, with many starting to call for increased financing, UK Prime Minister Theresa May has pledged to come up with a long-term funding plan for the National Health Service ahead of the spring 2019 spending review, having acknowledged that the system needs an increase in resources.

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    Previously, the prime minister had been accused of “denial about the state of the NHS” by Labor leader Jeremy Corbyn, who referred to May’s early claim that the health service was well-prepared for winter, while in fact thousands of patients had to wait 12 hours or more at emergency departments during the week leading up to New Year’s Eve.

    It also appeared that tens of thousands of planned operations were postponed or canceled in January, as the NHS dealt with the most urgent cases, with Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt later apologizing to patients.

    Many experts in the field considered that the NHS had an “impoverished infrastructure,” stressing that it was largely unable to meet demands – which had a negative impact on patient care.

    "We've seen hospitals completely overstretched, people dying in corridors, people have to be treated in ambulances in hospital car parks by nurses because there is no space inside the hospital. It is obvious, from talking to every single healthcare worker that hospitals are at their limit or past it. The government is doing nothing in any kind of serious way to fix the crisis. Instead they are denying the crisis is even happening. So we are organizing a demonstration to say the NHS needs more staff and more [hospital] beds,” National Secretary of The People's Assembly Sam Fairbairn told Sputnik in February, as London was hit by demonstrations over healthcare spending.

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    caesarean, National Health Service (NHS), Great Britain, Scotland
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