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Delivered in ambulance, newborn dies, father says hospital drove them off for being Muslim

Medical Education Secretary Vaibhav Galriya said an inquiry has been ordered. The district administration will hold the inquiry and, if necessary, appropriate action will be taken, he said.

Written by Deep Mukherjee | Jaipur | Updated: April 5, 2020 5:45:35 pm
Irfan Khan, 34, said his wife delivered in the ambulance on way to Jaipur, but the newborn died even as the staff at Bharatpur’s RBM Jenana Hospital allegedly drove them away a second time when they returned in the ambulance. (Representational/Express photo by Abhinav Saha)

The father of a newborn on Saturday alleged that doctors at the government hospital in Rajasthan’s Bharatpur district turned them away after learning that they are Muslims and referred the case to Jaipur.

Irfan Khan, 34, said his wife delivered in the ambulance on way to Jaipur, but the newborn died even as the staff at Bharatpur’s RBM Jenana Hospital allegedly drove them away a second time when they returned in the ambulance.

Subhash Garg, Minister of State for Medical Education and MLA from Bharatpur, denied that the family was asked to go to Jaipur because they are Muslims and said an inquiry has been ordered into the allegation.

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The Sunday Express reached out to Dr Rachna Narayan, principal of the medical college in Bharatpur which has jurisdiction over the hospital, but she refused to comment on Khan’s allegations and said the Medical Education Department Secretary would be the the right person to comment.

Medical Education Secretary Vaibhav Galriya said an inquiry has been ordered. The district administration will hold the inquiry and, if necessary, appropriate action will be taken, he said.

Terming the allegations “absolutely wrong”, MoS Garg said the allegations do not reflect in “statements given by the patient’s attendant (a relative) and the patient herself. An inquiry has been ordered; we are awaiting the report.”

Khan told The Indian Express that he suspects the staff attending on his expectant wife thought they were connected to the Tablighi Jamaat.

Even as Khan held the hospital staff responsible, Vishvendra Singh, MLA from Deeg-Kumher constituency in Bharatpur and a state Cabinet-rank minister, called it a “shameful” incident. In successive tweets, Singh wrote: “Pregnant Muslim Woman was refused medical attention…& was told to go to Jaipur given her religion…. Shameful…. The (Tabhligi) jamaat most certainly has been hazardous…however, it does not mean citizens of Islamic faith are treated the way a pregnant lady was handled…”

Khan said: “When we went to the community health centre in Sikri last night, they asked us to go to the district hospital. We went to the hospital in Bharatpur this morning. In the labour room, doctors asked my name and address. I told them my name and that I had come from Nagar. They asked me whether I was Muslim. I said yes. The doctors got alert and said, ‘(if you are) Muslim, then you won’t get any treatment here’.”

Khan maintained that he heard doctors hold a discussion among themselves before one one of them allegedly said, “he has come from Nagar and he is a Muslim, make a referral card and get them out of here”.

On way to to Jaipur, Khan said, “my wife delivered in the ambulance. I went back to hospital but they didn’t let me in. By then the child had died…” Khan’s wife was admitted at the hospital later in the day.

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