Gorakhpur: The Bureaucracy that Devoured 60 Lives

By the Editor: Siddharth Sehgal

It is sometimes surprising that we see cases of lost lives in our country in government hospitals simply due to the fact that they didn’t seemed valuable, I know the medical services in government sector are severely underfunded, understaffed and riddled with corruption but that doesn’t mean the officials loose even the traces of conscience.

There is a fevered pitch political battle that’s being fought between the government and opposition but the incident would have happened regardless of who sits in Lucknow.  Despite repeated warnings in writing that oxygen supply is running low, why District Magistrate (DM), Chief Medical Officer (CMO) or doctors didn’t took any action, why they waited till the end, why didn’t they raised the alarm. Why was the oxygen  suppling company not paid money, why it’s arrears were not cleared are looming question and suspect not only gross neglect but a greed to profit privately at public expense.

Appallingly, instead of taking responsibility and making things right the officials resorted to shameless face saving shenanigans by calling media to advocate their innocence. The Doctor who was shown to be a savior was alleged to have a parallel private medical practice on the side. If some sources are to be believed, the oxygen cylinders that were supplied for the usage in Pediatric ward, ICU etc. were sold to the private hospitals or simply stolen for personal gains.

Gorakhpur is not alone; this grim reality can be found in any government run medical institutions in the country. Now the question comes of the accountability the onus of which is on the Yogi government. If it has to come to that perhaps Chief Minister should ask Health secretary or Health Minister to step down from a moral point of view. Lessons also need to be learned here by at least having some sort of triage system for public health services and to keep these systems as away from red tape as possible. But I doubt “Babus” will learn their lesson until an example is made.

It’s not pragmatic to think that CM can do every day to day operation of all government apparatuses, he need officials to do their job, on the ground. He has to somehow polish away the rust that has log jammed the system. But I still wonder what makes people loose all empathy, compassion and humanity that even an infant’s life becomes so invaluable to them.

One Comment

  1. O K R Sivagnanam says:

    Is not the bad name that a government organisation earns, in the present instance, a government hospital, an insult to their ability to perform well?
    Does killing of lives due to negligence not prick their conscience?
    Is collective responsibility lacking in such life-saving activities with no regard for the human life?
    Not feeling sorry, and justifying the wrong committed amounts to arrogance on the part of the authorities concerned!
    Won’t they change their attitude towards the common man, and render effective service to the needy in time?

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