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Gorakhpur Hospital Deaths Not Due to Oxygen Shortage, Says Chief Secretary’s Report

The report by Chief Secretary Rajive Kumar put the blame for the deaths of children on 10th and 11th August instead on corruption.

Qazi Faraz Ahmad | News18@qazifarazahmad

Updated:August 24, 2017, 5:32 PM IST
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Gorakhpur Hospital Deaths Not Due to Oxygen Shortage, Says Chief Secretary’s Report
In August, a total of 60 infants admitted to B.R.D. Medical College in Gorakhpur had died in a span of 48 hours, allegedly because of the disruption in oxygen supply.(File Photo/Getty Images)
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Lucknow: The report submitted to the Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath after inquiry by the chief secretary has said that the death of children in Gorakhpur’s BRD hospital was not due to the lack of oxygen.

The report by Chief Secretary Rajive Kumar put the blame for the deaths of children on 10th and 11th August instead on corruption.

The 27-page report said, “The medical college authorities were indulged in corruption, seeking commissions for suppliers, and need to be punished. They withheld the payment to the oxygen suppliers despite having sufficient funds at their disposal.”

Post the incident, Adityanath had visited the hospital and ordered a probe by a four-member committee headed by Kumar. The committee has now submitted its report to the government on Tuesday, post which government was seeking legal opinion before finally a case was registered against then Principal BRD Medical College Dr Rajiv Mishra, HOD, Anesthesia, Dr Satish, Incharge, AES ward, Dr Kafeel Khan, and Liquid Oxygen supplier Pushpa Sales at Hazratganj Police Station in Lucknow.

Charges of negligence, corruption, private practise and different acts of Indian Medical Council Act have been included in the FIR.

The report also said the BRD Medical College had surrendered Rs 2.50 crore to the government on March 31 at the end of financial year as unused funds, but did not clear the dues of the gas supplier.

As per the report, despite many reminders from the gas supplier, the college authorities did not clear the dues as they wanted higher commission.

The report said, “They pretended that the payments could not be done as the government had not released the funds while the facts was that they had surrendered the funds and created an artificial paucity of funds to mount pressure on the supplier.”

The report also mentioned that additional chief secretary, medical education, Anita Bhatnagar Jain had visited BRD Medical College before the CM's visit on August 9 and after coming back to Lucknow, cleared the pending payments to avoid any crisis of oxygen supply.

The report found that many a times before the situation which led to the deaths, BRD medical college authorities have created a false crisis of liquid oxygen in the hospital, so that they can purchase oxygen cylinders and earn some more commission from the suppliers.

On 10th and 11th of August 2017, the liquid oxygen supplier stopped the supply and the pressure in supply line to the wards started going down which in turn caused an alarm, the report said.

The BRD hospital authorities then started using the gas cylinders they had to ensure supply of oxygen through pipelines to the patients. This ensured that there was no shortage of oxygen to ailing patients. “This took three hours on August 10-11 and during this period not a single death was reported at the hospital ICUs,” the report said.

The report also said, “There were dozens of other patients in the ICUs, but none of them except children suffered. The average number of kids' death in the months of July and August this year has been the same as previous years.”

The same data and record was also given by Health Minister Siddharth Nath Singh, after the BRD Hospital incident.

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| Edited by: Ashish Yechury
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