UP: Sword of Joblessness Hangs Over 400 Staff After Sanjay Gandhi Hospital in Amethi Shut Down
Representational Image. Image Courtesy: Justdial
Lucknow: The Amethi health department, which had suspended the license of Sanjay Gandhi Hospital in Munshiganj, run by the Sanjay Gandhi Memorial Trust, of which Congress leader Sonia Gandhi is chairperson, shut the hospital on Wednesday. The decision was taken after a 22-year-old patient died at the facility allegedly following an overdose of anaesthesia.
As a result, the sword of mounting unemployment is hanging over at least 400 staff members after the health department pasted a notice on the main gate, saying that "the hospital is closed as per government orders." More than 200 nursing staff, who work round the clock in the hospital, are worried for their future for no fault of theirs.
Dr Anshuman Singh, Amethi’s chief medical officer (CMO), said that he had suspended the hospital’s registration on the basis of a report of the probe committee, He said an investigation into the alleged laxity that led to the death of the woman, Divya, had also been launched.
"We sealed the hospital on the day the patient died and suspended the hospital’s registration until further orders. This means that no patients will be treated at the hospital and the hospital administration will not be able to function. We have also formed a team of four doctors to investigate the cause of death and the alleged laxity of the hospital authorities,” Singh told NewsClick.
Health department officials said that a three-member team led by the Additional CMO Dr Ram Prasad in its report had found laxity in the treatment given to the deceased patient, Divya, and had specialist doctors reached the hospital, she could have been saved.
However, Awadhesh Sharma, the hospital’s CEO, accused the CMO for not giving them enough time to explain the incident, claiming the decision to revoke the hospital license was taken “in haste”.
“With the license of the hospital being suspended all services provided by the hospital including emergency and OPD have come to a standstill.” Sharma alleged the hospital didn’t get a fair hearing and called the suspension of its licence an “act of political vengeance”. “This is a one-sided action on the part of the administration, and we will move the court against this," he added.
A nursing staff member, on the condition of anonymity, told NewsClick, "Our jobs are at stake after the hospital is closed. For what crime are we nursing staff being punished? Shutting down the hospital completely means snatching the livelihood of 400 households."
Uttar Pradesh Deputy Chief Minister Brajesh Pathak, who also holds the health portfolio, had warned the hospital of licence revocation and sealing of its premises if it was found involved in negligence.
“Taking immediate cognisance of the case of death of a female patient due to doctor’s negligence in Sanjay Gandhi Hospital, Munshiganj, Amethi, as per the orders given by me, Chief Medical Officer of Amethi immediately conducted a preliminary inquiry into the matter through a three-member committee,” Pathak said on Sunday in a post on X (formerly Twitter) in Hindi.
Divya, a resident of Ramshahpur village of Musafirkhana in Amethi district, was suffering from health problems for a long time, which were deteriorating. According to her husband, Anuj Shukla, Divya was taken to Sanjay Gandhi Hospital on September 14 morning by her family after she complained of a stomach ache.
After examining her, the doctor suggested an operation to remove stones in her gallbladder, her family said.
On the same day, she was given anaesthesia. This injection had such an effect that Divya could not regain consciousness. She went into a coma before the operation and her condition started to deteriorate. She was referred from Sanjay Gandhi Hospital to Medanta in Lucknow. She died in Lucknow around 4 a.m on September 16, her husband said.
Thereafter, a case was registered against Awadhesh Sharma, general surgeon Dr Mohammad Raja, anaesthesia specialist Dr Siddiqui and physician Dr Shubham Dwivedi under Section 304A (causing death by negligence) of the Indian Penal Code at the Munshiganj Police Station.
‘Political Vendetta’, Patients Are Suffering: Congress
Meanwhile, Congress leaders have slammed the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), alleging that the action was "pure political vendetta".
Deepak Singh, former Congress MLC, targeted Union Minister and BJP MP Smriti Irani over the Sanjay Gandhi Hospital's registration being revoked. He said the cancellation of registration was done at “short notice”.
"The way Sanjay Gandhi Hospital has been closed has made it clear that Smriti Irani has brought destruction in Amethi, not development (she represents Amethi in the Lok Sabha). Earlier, she has closed IIIT in education field and the Army Recruiting Office in the security sector. She also shut down many trains here. In the field of agriculture, she snatched away multiple projects. It was the health sector's turn this time, and she shut the hospital," he alleged.
Meanwhile, Ajay Rai, Congress state president, has written a letter to Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath to restore the registration of the hospital.
In the letter seen by NewsClick, Rai has drawn the Chief Minister’s attention toward problems being faced by people following cancellation of the hospital registration. “Cancellation of registration has led to suspension of health services, which was causing inconvenience to the people in nearby areas,” said Rai in his letter.
The Sanjay Gandhi Charitable Trust runs the Sanjay Gandhi Hospital and Wayanad MP Rahul Gandhi is one of the members of the trust along with his sister Priyanka Gandhi.
Get the latest reports & analysis with people's perspective on Protests, movements & deep analytical videos, discussions of the current affairs in your Telegram app. Subscribe to NewsClick's Telegram channel & get Real-Time updates on stories, as they get published on our website.