After Gorakhpur child deaths, here’s what a top bureaucrat saw in Kanpur hospital

Mukul Singhal, principal secretary, housing and urban planning, was told medicines are not available, buy it from outside. This comes amid a crisis in a hospital in Gorakhpur, CM Yogi Adiyanath’s constituency, where more than 100 children have died in the past week over alleged shortage of medicines.

india Updated: Aug 18, 2017 17:56 IST
Haidar Naqvi
Haidar Naqvi
Hindustan Times, Kanpur
Gorakhpur,Gorakhpur child deaths,Yogi Adityanath
File photo of a ward at the Baba Raghav Das Medical College Hospital in Gorakhpur where more than 100 children have died in the past week. (AP)

A senior Uttar Pradesh bureaucrat allegedly faced a harrowing time at Kanpur’s UHM hospital while trying to procure medicines.

Mukul Singhal, principal secretary, housing and urban planning, was on a surprise check of the city’s second-largest hospital when he sent away tersely by the on-duty pharmacist, eyewitnesses said. HT spoke to patients, staff and eyewitnesses at the hospital to piece together this account.

“Jao nahin hai, bahar se le lo” (medicines are not available, buy it from outside),” he was allegedly told.

Singhal later found that the medicines were indeed available and meant for free distribution. He has asked district magistrate Surendra Singh to take action against the hospital administration.

Singhal was at UHM hospital when he noticed a woman patient angry.

“He came and asked me the reason for my annoyance; I told him that I was denied medicines at the counter,” said the patient, identified as Shaheen Begum of Colonelganj. She said she had been prescribed Diclofenac, Paracetamol and Norflox TZ.

The doctors accompanying Singhal told him these basic medicines were available for all. Shaheen said Singhal accompanied her to the counter where he joined the queue with her prescription. Singhal then handed over the prescription to the pharmacist, who went through it and told him the medicines were not available, Shaheen said.

Singhal returned to the office of the CMO and summoned the doctor and pharmacist in the presence of UHM director Uma Kant and medical superintendent ML Vishwakarma.

The pharmacist told Singhal that the supplier gave the medicine with a different name and hence they couldn’t be placed in the stock, sources present at the meeting told HT.

This comes amid the deaths of more than 100 children at the Baba Raghav Das Medical College in Gorakhpur. Patients and their family have repeatedly complained of a chronic shortage of medicines.

First Published: Aug 18, 2017 17:19 IST