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

Whistle-blowing IPS officer Sanjiv Bhatt's wife suspects foul play after truck hits her car

By Nachiketa Desai*
Paranoia has seized Shweta Bhatt, wife of suspended Indian Police Service (IPS) officer Sanjiv Bhatt, after the car she was driving was rammed in broad day light. According to Shweta Bhatt, it was beacon light-flashing truck without registration number plate. The incident took place on January 7, just a day ahead of the Gujarat High Court was scheduled to take up the bail application of Sanjiv Bhatt, arrested last year for "involvement" in a 23-year-old case.

Call to support IIM-Bangalore professor, censured for seeking action against Uniliver

Counterview Desk
Sections of the Indian Institute of Managements (IIMs) across India have strongly reacted to the decision to censure Dr Deepak Malghan, a faulty at IIM-Bangalore. Prabhir Vishnu Poruthiyil, who is faculty at IIM-Tiruchirapalli, has sought wider solidarity with Dr Malghan, saying, "The administration has censured Deepak for merely suggesting a meaningful action against Hindustan Unilever for their abysmal environmental record" by “disinviting” it for campus placement.

Morari Bapu, who has installed new statues of Ram, Laxman, Hanuman without weapons

By Sandeep Pandey*
A saint is one who can give some inner peace by his/her voice. This will happen only when s(he) will talk about love and harmony. Morari Bapu is one saint who has been conveying the message of love, peace, harmony, fraternity, etc. Today when a number of saffron clad figures with aggressive posture, spewing venom, fanning hatred to polarise voters are at the forefront of politics of Hindutva it is a relief to see Morari Bapu in a different mould.

99% MGNREGA funds "exhausted", Govt of India makes no additional sanctions: Study

Counterview Desk
A letter, addressed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and prepared by senior activists led by Aruna Roy on behalf of the Peoples’ Action for Employment Guarantee (PAEG), and signed, among others, by 80 members of Parliament, has regretted that, despite repeated public statements by his government promising employment and job creation that will boost the country’s growth, the country’s only employment guarantee programme, Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA), “is being systematically undermined.”

Nuclear reactors sought from French giant "not safe": Letter to Modi on Jaitapur project

Counterview Desk
Amidst reports that the French nuclear giant EDF has submitted a “techno-commercial offer” for the world’s largest nuclear power park proposed in Maharashtra’s Jaitapur nuclear power park in Jaitapur on the Maharashtra coast, Dr EAS Sarma, India’s former Union Secretary in the Minister of Power, and an eminent voice in the civil society, has written an open letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who also heads Department of Atomic Energy (DAE),  protesting the move.

World Bank clarifies: Its 26th rank to India not for universal access to power but for ease of doing business

By Our Representative
In a major embarrassment to the Government of India, the World Bank has reportedly clarified that it has not ranked India 26th out of 130 countries for providing power to its population. The top international banker’s clarification comes following Union Power Minister Piyush Goyal’s claim that India has “improved to 26 position from 99” in access to electricity in just one year.

Kerala land being acquired using "draconian, anti-people" National Highway Act, 1956

Counterview Desk
In a letter Chief Minister of Kerala Pinarayi Vijayan, senior activists and politicians have insisted that the Kerala government should not agree to "inhuman displacement and buid-operate-transfer (BOT) Toll system", imposed by the Government of India and the National Highway Authority of India, for widening the current National Highway (NH) 66.

Kaiga NPP expansion: Karnataka to get just 400 MW, but lose thick forest, fresh water

Counterview Desk
In an open letter to the chairman and members of the Atomic energy Commission (AEC) on the issue of Kaiga nuclear power plant (NPP) expansion plan in Karnataka, Shankar Sharma, well-known power policy analyst, has argued that that in case of expansion, the site will face “exponential increase in radiation emission risks”, underlining, “Nuclear safety experts identify such a scenario as enhanced risk for NPPs with multiple reactors and shared technical facilities."
Sharma says the questions that also be asked whether Karnataka should lose more than 54 hectares of thick forests and about 152,304 cubic meters of fresh water per day from Kali river for a meager benefit of 400 MW from the Kaiga NPP, for which “there are many benign alternative options available for the state at much lower overall costs to the state.”
Text of the letter: This has reference to the public hearing under the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Rule 2006 of Ministry of Environment, Fore…

Uttarakhand High Court: Biodiversity boards can impose fees on Ramdev's Divya Pharmacy

By Mridhu Tandon
In a significant decision, the Uttarakhand High Court on December 21, 2018 has dismissed the writ petition filed by Divya Pharmacy founded by Baba Ramdev and Acharya Balakrishnan, challenging the demand of the Uttarakhand Biodiversity Board (UBB) imposing fees under the provisions of the Fair and Equitable Benefit Sharing (FEBS).

Modi becoming Prime Minister now appears to be an "accident" to the people of India

By Sandeep Pandey*
Anupam Kher's film 'Accidental Prime Minister' has targeted Dr Manmohan Singh who served for two terms and may be again acceptable for the job if his party regains power. But his tormentor Narendra Modi seems to be out of breath even before his first term is over. Disillusionment with him is so widespread and deep that people of India may not bear with him for another term. As the general elections approach again the difference between the two needs to be examined.