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Gorakhpur Update: Doctors become Scapegoat in the Blame-game of Hospital Tragedy

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Gorakhpur Update: Doctors become Scapegoat in the Blame-game of Hospital Tragedy

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

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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?”

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Source: with inputs
6 comment(s) on Gorakhpur Update: Doctors become Scapegoat in the Blame-game of Hospital Tragedy

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  1. As is the custom, it seems that the media has got the wrong end of the stick. The issue being highlighted is the demise of children suffering with encephalitis, which in turn has a high mortality rate. it has been rightly pointed out in the comments above that oxygen saturation has not been reported for any of the children! and neither has been the cause of death, which possibly could be determined from autopsy (disclaimer: I am a psychiatrist and do not have in depth knowledge of forensic medicine or paediatrics).
    What the incidence has highlighted, in my opinion, is the bureaucracy in financial affairs of government hospitals. From the reports, it seems that the company supplying oxygen has not been paid for 2 years, and the company has written officially about this to various officials in the district administration, the concerned medical college and the state health department. The net result of all this information sharing was nil!
    And this is not the first incident of its kind. In the past, there have been other incidents highlighting the same problem of disruption of service delivery owing to non-payment from government organisations.
    In my opinion for what its worth, the catastrophic event at Gorakhpur, has highlighted the inefficiency of the government procurement system, and the whole incident should be considered in the light of modification of purchase and payment policies!

  2. All deaths could not have been due to lack of oxygen. The truth should be made public. The details should be uploaded by the doctors working in the hospital. Most doctors do not think oxygen is a drug and has a dose, route of inhalation and side effects. It is not taught as a subject in medical colleges. Most medical administrators do not know how oxygen is supplied. Every medical administrator should be trained about it during induction as an administration. Oxygen is used as a psychotherapy in most government hospitals as most of the staff do not know the dose and delivery devices. Till all the facts are known please do not blame anyone.

  3. All politicians and their relatives should undergo treatment only at public hospital
    Only then the situation will change

  4. It is so obvious to say that all patients in a pediatric ICU do not need oxygen.NO BODY HAS REPORTED THE OXYGEN SATURATION OF ALL THE PATIENTS WHO DIED.It is the oxygen saturation which decides whether oxygen is necessary or not.May be the OXYGEN theory does not apply at all , if the oxygen saturation of many of these patients was normal.More investigations could also reveal that the cylinders contained only air or half filled oxygen cylinders. One knows well in advance whether and when a cylinder would get empty.An estimated time can be from 6 hours to 3 days by which one can determine from a new cylinder kept in the bank.Funny…..and amused …. and angry.

  5. Principle and head of PAEDRITRIC , both are responsible for any lack of oxygen in the medical college . The decision of oxygen supply cannot be taken at the last minute and nothing can be arranged at last minute for a medical college which is riddled with patients . There are lot of funds and money and grants under the control of the principle and relocation of funds can be done by the Principle on priority bases . This is the duty of HOD paedritrics and The Principle as they are the only Technical people directly in contact . CM and others in administration are not technical people and they therefore don\’t have the knowledge and relevance of Oxygen . Therefore they cannot be blamed for all this . Technical people are squarely responsible for all this .

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