Rajasthan hospital in trouble after WhatsApp chat of its doctors goes Viral on Social Media
Rajasthan: Trouble mounted for a hospital here after a Whatsapp chat of its doctors and other staff came to highlight where a doctor was seen claiming to refuse treatment to the members of a certain religious community, went viral on social media. While an FIR has been lodged against the hospital staff, the hospital owner himself took to social media to tender an apology and issue a clarification.
Controversy erupted after a screenshot of a purported Whatsapp chat conversation containing anti-communal statements on COVID patients; went viral on social media. Based on a complaint, the police have launched an open probe against some health workers of the Private hospital who were chatting under a WhatsApp group called the "Bardia rise" and where they allegedly discussed not attending or providing medical care to COVID 19 struck Muslim patients.
Meanwhile, after the incident went viral, the owner of the hospital tendered an official apology on Facebook saying the hospital staff did not intend to hurt the sentiments of any community. He stated that chats were from mid-April when the COVID-19 cases related to the Tablighi Jamaat congregation were being reported in large numbers.
According to police officials, a few days ago, the police control room received a complaint about screenshots being shared on social media of an alleged WhatsApp group chat between private hospital staff in Sardarshahar which were allegedly discriminatory in nature against a particular religion. "The timing of the chat seems to be during the COVID lockdown," Sub-Inspector Ramesh Pannu of Sardarshahar police station said. Maqbool Khan, district president of the Muslim Parishad Sansthan in Churu reported a Fir against the participants of the group.
As per the screenshots, one of the health workers refused to take an x-ray of Muslim patients and other doctors responded stating "had Hindus been positive and the doctor was Muslim, he would never have attended to Hindus. I will not attend to Muslims in the Outpatient Department. Tell them Madam is not in".
However, the authenticity of the screenshots and the identity of the participants are yet to be confirmed.
On the basis of the complaint, the police have registered an FIR against three persons including a doctor under section 153 A, 505 of IPC and Section 54 of Disaster Management Act 2005, according to the Dr Pranvendra who tweeted regarding the matter along with the screenshots which allegedly evoked the controversy.
FIR lodged against Churu hospital staff as watsapp chat about not to provide treatment to Muslims goes viral— Dr Sangeeta Pranvendra (@sangpran) June 8, 2020
Hospital owner apologises in FB post as his wife has posted the instigating messages
Charges under Sec 153A 505 of IPC & Sec 54 of NDMA 2005@fpjindia #COVID #Muslims pic.twitter.com/wBjHP3chE4
Afterwards, Dr Sunil , an orthopedic surgeon and the owner of the hospital, apologized through a Facebook post, stating that the hospital staff certainly had no intention of denouncing any community, nor does the hospital practice any discrimination in treating the patients on the basis of communal hatred. "Our hospital has no intention to deprive any community of medical treatment. We apologize and assure you that there will be no cause for complaint in the future," said the post.
Mr. Sunil added "Even during that time of widespread fear, I was providing 24-hour healthcare facilities to everyone. We have never discriminated against anyone on the basis of their religion or caste. I have also spoken with the community members who made the complaint. The issue shouldn't be politicized and doctors should not be punished without any reason".
He stated that the screenshots were of the conversations that occurred during Tablighi jamaat time. He told the Hindu "Our hospital has never discriminated against Muslim patients. In fact, 70% of the operations conducted under the Bhamashah health insurance scheme are of Muslims. These off-the-cuff remarks are being exaggerated".
As you can see, someone has written this and there is no doubt about it, but if you see the number of Muslim patients we attend to on a regular basis, you will see that the ground reality has no relation with what has been said in the chat, he told The Indian Express