Parents have alleged that their children died because oxygen supply was disrupted at the hospital.
Gorakhpur: An inquiry report into last week's oxygen shortage at a hospital in Uttar Pradesh's Gorakhpur has pinned the blame for mismanagement on two senior doctors. The report by District Magistrate Rajeev Rautela found the hospital's logs about supply of oxygen were in a mess, raised suspicions about corruption and called for a deeper probe. Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, whose home base has been Gorakhpur for several years, is facing opposition criticism of abysmal health care and corruption at the town's biggest hospital, where 72 children have died since last week of various causes including encephalitis.
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Dr Satish Kumar, the head of the hospital's anaesthesia department, who was tasked with the responsibility of overseeing supply of oxygen, has been primarily held responsible for the disruption. The inquiry said the doctor, who went to Mumbai when Baba Raghav Das Medical College was still grappling with the shortage, was, prima facie, guilty of dereliction of duty.
His boss, the medical college's suspended principal Dr Rajeev Misra, was also blamed for lack of supervisory control and delayed payments to Pushpa Sales, the firm that supplied oxygen to the hospital.
Dr Kafeel Khan, the head paediatrician who was the only one to have been sacked apart from the principal, however, has not been indicted in this report. The report, however, did say there were gaps in coordination between four top doctors including Dr Khan. Government officials had earlier held Dr Khan responsible for the shortage.
The report also blamed the firm contracted to supply liquid oxygen, saying it should not have cut off supply non-payment of bills since it was in the business of saving lives.
A team of doctors from the central government had on Wednesday backed the Yogi Adityanath government's view that the oxygen shortage did not lead to the death of any child.
"This is a special care hospital where these cases are coming thick. When we looked into the data and case sheet we really didn't find that actually...Other pre-existent conditions were there," said a member of the team, Harish Chailani, who heads the Paediatrics Wing at Delhi's Safdarjung Hospital.
Many parents have, however, alleged that their children died because oxygen supply was disrupted at the hospital on Thursday August 10, when 23 children died.
A parent from Bihar who lost his son has filed a complaint with the police naming the state's health minister, top health officer and officials of the Baba Raghav Das Medical College.
The parent alleges that his son died because of the lack of oxygen the reason for which was that paperwork was not done. "My child died because the hospital didn't pay the oxygen supplier," says the complaint.
A second inquiry conducted by the Chief Secretary will submit its initial report on Sunday. Chief Minister Adityanath had promised that the punishment to the guilty will "set a standard".