New Delhi: While children and patients have become the biggest casualty in the recent tragedy at the BRD Medical College, doctors at the said hospital have now taken the secondary hit- becoming the scapegoat in the after tragedy blame-game as the death toll at the hospital rose to 70.
It is reported that amidst the media condemnation over the tragedy, on 12th August, 2017, came the reports of the suspension of the principal of Gorakhpur’s Baba Raghav Das Medical College Rajiv Mishra, who was primarily blamed as accountable for the tragedy.” We are suspending BRD medical college principal with immediate effect for this negligent behaviour,” State Minister for Medical Education Ashutosh Tandon
Dr Mishra, on the other hand, reacted by denying all allegations that were thrown against him, stating that as an act of responsibility he had already tendered his resignation before the suspension. “I had already written my resignation earlier, owning up to all the deaths that happened at the BRD Hospital,” Rajiv Mishra told ANI.
Meanwhile, on the morning of 13th August 2017, media reports were seen hailing the head of the pediatric department, Dr Kafeel Khan was hailed in the morning for his quick action and efforts and running around for making oxygen cylinders available during the fateful night. In the evening, however, it was announced that Dr Kafeel Khan has been removed as the Nodal Officer for the Department of Pediatrics of the hospital. His role in the purchasing committee is now being questioned and the doctor is now saddled under serious allegations on which enquiry has been ordered.
Encephalitis- Not Oxygen Cutoff- The True Killer
While all the shift has been moved towards the disruption of oxygen supply for two hours and the issue of non-payment of vendors, enquiries are revealing the true culprit to be encephalitis, a highly preventable disease, through immunisation.
“Whatever happened has nothing to do with the disruption of oxygen supply. This is the peak season of encephalitis.” DG Medical Education K.K. Gupta admitted while speaking to ANI.
Doctors become scapegoats
While Doctors are being blamed for the administrative failures of the institution question still remains, on why only doctors have emerged as the main culprit behind the death of the children.
The Indian Medical Association came out strongly in support of the medical college principal, demanding the revocation of his suspension.
“The suspension of only the principal is completely wrong. It’s an administrative failure. Everyone should be held accountable. If you’re suspending him, then suspend the local admin too and ban the company,” IMA president K K Aggarwal told ANI.
He further said that the IMA has passed three resolutions over the tragic death of children in Gorakhpur’s hospital.
“The first resolution is that the community and medical fraternity needs to know the reason, that is if it is due to disruption of oxygen. Secondly, the suspension of only the principal is outrightly wrong. Third and last, the practice of delaying payments in the healthcare sector should be prohibited,” he added.
“Doctors are being made scapegoats,” Dr. Harjit Singh Bhatti told NDTV, who heads an association of resident doctors at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences or AIIMS. The association has written a letter condemning Dr Kafeel Khan’s sacking, accusing the state government of “gross neglect of public health.” By blaming doctors for the death of the children, the association said, “politicians are hiding their incompetency,” and asked, “Who is responsible if oxygen, gloves, equipment not available?”