GORAKHPUR, UTTAR PRADESH: Doctors at Delhi's AIIMS have alleged that a paediatrician Dr Kafeel Khan has been made the "scapegoat" at a hospital in Uttar Pradesh's Gorakhpur, where more than 60 children died last week. Dr Khan, who was head of paediatrics and the children's encephalitis wards at the hospital, was removed on Sunday.
"Doctors are being made scapegoats," said Dr. Harjit Singh Bhatti, 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?"
UP government officials have denied a shortage of oxygen caused deaths in the Gorakhpur hospital. Last Thursday, at the BRD Medical College and Hospital, Gorakhpur's largest hospital filled with premature newborns and children suffering from encephalitis which plagues the area, the supply of liquid oxygen dipped to a critical low. 23 children died at the hospital that day and parents and others have blamed the oxygen shortage for some of the deaths.
Amid calls from opposition parties for his resignation, UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has promised "standard setting punishment" for those found guilty of negligence in an investigation into the large number of child deaths at the hospital, as his government denies emphatically that the shortage of oxygen led to deaths.
- Input: IANS