Skip to main content

"Largest" healthcare scheme? Modi remained mum on how Dr Khaleef Khan of Gorakhpur hospital was framed

Dr Khaleef Khan
By Sheshu Babu*
While speaking on Independence Day, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced launching of the world's largest healthcare scheme (Ayushman Bharat Yojana), but refused to mention anything about the pathetic medical facilities in hospitals in the country. Recent Gorakhpur incidents are still fresh in peoples' memories.
When children were dying of encephalitis, the doctor in-charge of the ward tried his best to save children by securing oxygen cylinders from private hospitals to fulfill shortage of oxygen. He used his own car and money to see that the supply of oxygen is not stopped. But all his efforts were viewed with suspicion.
An FIR was filed against nine individuals, including Dr Kafeel Khan on August 24, 2017. He was arrested on September 2, 2017 and was removed from his post. However, he got bail on April 24, 2018 from the Allahabad High Court.
In reply to an RTI activist Sanjay Sharma, the UP government accepted the reality. On July 4 this year it disclosed that two oxygen cylinders were availed from unauthorized persons, as there was shortage of supply on August 11, 2017. Not only this, the BRD College also accepted that it was former nodal officer Dr Khan who arranged six oxygen cylinders from five nursing homes.
Sanjay Sharma said that the state government did not want to share the information, as the RTI was filed on August 14, 2017 but what he received was a partial reply, and that too when he lodged a complaint with the State Information Commission. Main information was avoided citing that the case was sub-judice.
Meanwhile, Dr Khan and his family were harassed and tortured. He himself faced allegations of rape in 2015. A case was registered, but the police dismissed the allegation as false in its final report. Yet, after the incident, he was sacked for 'dereliction of duty' and 'carrying out private practice'. The medical college accused him of ' fabricating stories' in media to show himself as saviour of children.
His younger brother Kashif Jameel was shot at by unidentified persons in June this year. Though Dr Khan named BJP MP behind the attack, no action has been taken. His elder brother Adeel Khan (along with two others) was booked for forgery for opening bank account.
Dr Kaleef has expressed fears that a conspiracy is being hatched to frame him and his family. He has said that these incidents against him and his family needed CBI inquiry, or under a committee headed by a High Court judge. The family also alleged ' political vendetta' against them.
After his release, Dr Khan continues to work with determination. His intentions were made clear when he said that he would not be afraid anymore as he had gone through worst of times. "If my suspension from BRD is removed, I am ready to serve the hospital again. If not, I will open my own medical center for encephalitis with the help of NGOs. My clinic will be free and will not have shortage of drugs."
The UP government's apathy towards the healthcare of children is clearly visible. Very little has been done to improve healthcare. The Gorakhpur oxygen shortage case has not been probed fully. The state government has tried to implicate Dr Khan and brush away its inaction. It has not instituted any enquiry commission. A mechanism for welfare of children in the state is still a mirage.
Clearly, mere announcement of large-scale health insurance schemes may not solve problems on the ground. People need basic facilities to get medicines and check-up without much trouble. Natal and neo-natal care must be accessible to rural areas. Child specialists and hospitals should be available to remote area, where tribals and adivasis reside. Without basic infrastructure, launching grand policies with fanfare may not help vast majority of poor people.
Doctors must work for the welfare of their patients. Dr Khan is an example who, in spite of threats to his family and himself, has not bowed to pressure from the rulers at any stage in his life.
---
*Writer from anywhere and everywhere, who believes that basic healthcare is the right of every person and should be provided by every government

Comments

Uma Sheth said…
Kudos to Dr. Khan. It is his misfortune that he is working in UP. I applaud his determination to keep doing his work IN SPITE of the meanness of the powers that be.
Anonymous said…
Doctors after medical degrees prefer to work with private hospitals than with the public hospitals. Health care needs of the people are increasing and one can’t leave the people on the mercy of their fate. The private players have to participate and the govt has to pay them for the services. It’s a win win for both. It will make the private venture viable and people will have wider net of services available. However, making the govt sector attractive will be a big challenge as shortage of doctors will continue as a problem in the public sector hospitals.

TRENDING

Gujarat refusal to observe Maulana Azad's birthday as Education Day 'discriminatory'

By Our Representative
The Gujarat government decision not to celebrate the National Education Day on !monday has gone controversial. Civil society organizations have particularly wondered whether the state government is shying away from the occasion, especially against the backdrop of "deteriorating" level of education in Gujarat.

Rushdie, Pamuk, 260 writers tell Modi: Aatish episode casts chill on public discourse

Counterview Desk
As many as 260 writers, journalists, artists, academics and activists across the world, including Salman Rushdie, British Indian novelist, Orhan Pamuk, Turkish novelist and recipient of the 2006 Nobel Prize in literature, and Margaret Atwood, Canadian poet and novelist, have called upon Prime Minister Narendra Modi to review the decision to strip British Indian writer Aatish Taseer of his overseas Indian citizenship.

Visually challenged lady seeks appointment with Gujarat CM, is 'unofficially' detained

By Pankti Jog*
It was a usual noon of November 10. I got a phone call on our Right to Information (RTI) helpline No 9924085000 from Ranjanben of Khambhat, narrating her “disgraceful” experience after she had requested for an appointment with Gujarat chief minister Vijay Rupani. She wanted to meet Rupani, on tour of the Khambhat area in Central Gujarat as part of his Janvikas Jumbesh (Campaign for Development).

Violent 'Ajodhya' campaign in 1840s after British captured Kabul, destroyed Jama Masjid

Counterview Desk  Irfan Ahmad, professor at the Max Planck Institute for the Study of Religious and Ethnic Diversity, Göttingen, Germany, and author of “Islamism and Democracy in India” (Princeton University Press, 2009), short-listed for the 2011 International Convention of Asian Scholars Book Prize for the best study in Social Sciences, in his "initial thoughts" on the Supreme Court judgment on the Babri-Jam Janmaboomi dispute has said, while order was “lawful”, it was also “awful.”

Bullet train acquisition: Land holding worth Rs 1.5 crore, Gujarat govt 'offer' Rs 8 lakh

By RK Misra*
Foundation stones laid by Prime Minister Narendra Modi litter India’s cities, towns and villages, but there are few projects which he has pursued with such perseverance and tenacity as the Ahmedabad-Mumbai bullet train one. However, the overwhelming state power notwithstanding, the farmers, whose lands are being acquired for the Modi government’s dream project, have no plans to give up the fight.

There may have been Buddhist stupa at Babri site during Gupta period: Archeologist

By Rajiv Shah
A top-notch archeologist, Prof Supriya Varma, who served as an observer during the excavation of the Babri Masjid site in early 2000s along with another archeologist, Jaya Menon, has controversially stated that not only was there "no temple under the Babri Masjid”, if one goes “beyond” the 12th century to 4th to 6th century, i.e. the Gupta period, “there seems to be a Buddhist stupa.”

VHP doesn't represent all Hindus, Sunni Waqf Board all Muslims: NAPM on SC ruling

Counterview Desk
India's top civil rights network, National Alliance of People’s Movements (NAPM), even as describing the Supreme Court's Ayodhya judgement unjust, has said, it is an "assault on the secular fabric of the Constitution". In a statement signed by top social workers and activists, NAPM said, "The judgement conveys an impression to Muslims that, despite being equal citizens of the country, their rights are not equal before the law."