Lucknow: The licence of a Bareilly hospital was cancelled after Hindutva activists raised a hue and cry over a surgeon’s decision to circumcise a child, despite a top government official saying that no medical negligence has yet been found in the matter.
Last week, a two-and-half-year-old child was admitted to the Dr M. Khan Hospital in Uttar Pradesh’s Bareilly. His parents have claimed that he was admitted for a tongue surgery, because he would stammer.
His parents, who are Hindus, alleged that the doctor – a Muslim man – had circumcised him instead of performing the tongue surgery for which he was admitted. The child’s father also claimed that the doctor had not taken his family’s consent before circumcising a child and attributed the surgery to the doctor’s alleged motives to convert him to Islam. The Wire is choosing not to name the child’s father as this information can be later used to identify the child.
“Hospital administration is mounting pressure on me to compromise, but I do not backtrack as I have to save our brothers too,” the father said.
News of this incident spread through the town and led to hundreds of Hindutva activists gathering at the hospital. They raised provocative slogans against members of the Muslim community. The activists claimed that the circumcision surgery was also linked to the fact that the hospital was named after a Muslim doctor.
However, the doctor, Javed Khan, has said that when the child arrived at the hospital last week, he was diagnosed with a condition called phimosis and that his parents were immediately advised that a circumcision could treat this disease.
The hospital staff also mentioned his disease and the procedure for treatment on his post-surgery prescription, Dr Khan said.
According to Dr Khan, on the day of the surgery, the child came to the hospital with his uncle, who also consented to the circumcision. Dr Khan also showed local reporters the consent paper signed by the patient’s uncle. “The patient’s family never sought consultation for stammering,” he added.
Deputy Chief Minister Brajesh Pathak, who is also in charge of the health department, posted on Twitter on June 24 that he had sent a health department team to the hospital to investigate the matter.
जनपद बरेली के एम०खान० अस्पताल में बच्चे की जीभ के ऑपरेशन की जगह खतना किये जाने संबंधी प्रकरण को गंभीरता से संज्ञान लेते हुए मेरे द्वारा ACMO के साथ स्वास्थ्य विभाग की एक टीम भेज कर संवंधित प्रकरण की जाँच कराने एवं शिकायत सही पाये जाने पर अस्पताल प्रबंधन एवं दोषी चिकित्सक के…
— Brajesh Pathak (@brajeshpathakup) June 24, 2023
Deputy CM also added, “If the complaint is found correct, orders have been given to the Chief Medical Officer, Bareilly, to register a First Information Report against the accused doctor and hospital management, to cancel the registration of the said hospital with immediate effect, and to make the complete report of the proceedings available within 24 hours. ”
The hospital will also be sealed on the basis of the report of the investigation, Pathak said.
When contacted, Balbir Singh, the chief medical officer, said an order has been issued to suspend the hospital’s licence. However, he also said that no medical negligence was found in a primary investigation.
According to the CMO, prima facie, it appears that the hospital did not fudge any of the documents related to the patient’s surgery. He also added that the probe is yet to be completed and that the final decision will be taken later based on the report.