Dr Kafeel Ahmad Khan, who grabbed headlines for having saved the lives of several children admitted in Gorakhpur's Baba Raghav Das Medical College, is now being slammed on social media with many accusing him of stealing oxygen cylinders from a hospital, which also hosts his private clinic.
At least 60 children have died at Baba Raghav Das Medical College hospital in Gorakhpur since last week either due to lack of oxygen or infections, prompting the Uttar Pradesh government to order a magisterial inquiry into the tragedy. The deaths are being blamed on the lack of oxygen cylinders in the hospital but the government and the hospital authorities have denied the allegations.
The Uttar Pradesh government on Sunday removed Khan as the nodal officer of the Department of Paediatrics at the BRD Medical College hospital in Gorakhpur after reports of the shortage of oxygen cylinders came to light. It is alleged that the insufficient amount of cylinders in the hospital was because he was secretly transporting some of them to his private clinic.
Dr Rajiv Mishra, who was sacked as the principal of BRD Medical College hospital on Saturday, was also reportedly involved in the crime with Khan. Advertisement posters for Khan's private clinic are still pasted on the walls of the hospital: "Doctor is available from 9am-9pm."
Media reports suggest that Khan was a member of the supplies department of the hospital besides being the nodal officer of the Department of Paediatrics at BRD Medical College Hospital. The Supplies Department is concerned with the stock and storage of medical equipment.
Khan was one of the doctors who assisted Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath's review when he visited the hospital on August 9. However, India Today quoted the staff as saying that Khan did not inform the CM about the erratic supply of oxygen cylinders nor about the hospital defaulting on payments.
When the situation got worse on the night of August 11, Khan allegedly sent three cylinders from his clinic to the hospital while claiming that he had "borrowed" those oxygen cylinders from a friend's hospital.
Khan and Mishra allegedly received a commission on every purchase made by the hospital and also took care of the deals with Pushpa Sales Pvt Ltd, the hospital's supplier of oxygen cylinders, India Today quoted other doctors and junior staff at the BRD Medical College hospital as saying.
— Modified Agniveer (@Grumpy_Gandhi) August 13, 2017
BRD Medical College doctors too busy with private clinics?
According to a News18 report, dogs and pigs were seen inside the hospital while patients were being wheeled in on carts. To make things worse, doctors were too busy in their private clinics to even bother about patients in the government hospital.
The report said that the residential quarters for doctors inside the BRD Medical College have now become private clinics.
Mishra, the principal of the college who was sacked on Saturday, operates a thriving private clinic inside the campus and is also a part of the Sri Ram Pathology Centre located right outside the medical college. He referred poor patients at the medical college to the laboratory outside making good money in the process.
A family in Mishra's neighbourhood also consists of three members working for the hospital. However, the doctors did not attend to a single patient when needed the most.
"If seven doctors are supposed to be on duty, two would show up. Everyone is busy with their private practices. When chief minister Yogi Adityanath came visiting on Sunday, they finally showed up," a hospital staff was quoted by News18 as saying.
Two staff members from the radiology ward complain about the lack of empathy that surrounds the doctors at the BRD Medical College hospital.
"Poor patients are deliberately given appointments a month later even for something as simple as an ultrasound. This is done to ensure that they can be pushed to private MRI centres where these doctors practise," one of them said.
When asked why such things do not come out in the open, the staff member said: "When the Medical Council of India officers come for inspection, all of these doctors would show up and keep the inspectors so occupied with food and refreshments that they wouldn't bother going around the hospital to look for the attendance register or talk to patients."