Varun criticises Yogi govt move to suspend licence of Sanjay Gandhi Hospital Amethi over patient death

Lucknow: BJP MP Varun Gandhi Friday questioned the Uttar Pradesh government’s decision to suspend the licence of Sanjay Gandhi Hospital in Amethi, and asked the latter to reconsider it.

The hospital’s licence was suspended after a 22-year-old patient died in a case of alleged medical negligence that led to an FIR against its chief executive officer (CEO) and three doctors on 17 September under IPC Section 304A (causing death by negligence). 

In a letter to Deputy Chief Minister Brajesh Pathak, which he shared on X, Gandhi said the suspension of licence “without allowing for a comprehensive and impartial investigation appears to be a rushed and potentially unjust course of action”.

The hospital is run by the Sanjay Gandhi Memorial Trust, named in honour of Varun’s father Sanjay Gandhi. The trust is chaired by former Congress president Sonia Gandhi, who is Varun Gandhi’s aunt.

The foundation of the hospital was laid by the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi in 1982.

The patient who died was admitted to the hospital on 14 September with stomach ache. Her family alleged she went into a coma before a scheduled gallbladder surgery and was kept at the hospital for over 30 hours before being referred to a Lucknow hospital. She breathed her last on the morning of 16 September at a private facility in Lucknow.

Her family has alleged that she died of an overdose of anaesthesia administered at the Sanjay Gandhi Hospital.

Deputy CM Pathak had posted on X Sunday that, on his orders, the Amethi chief medical officer conducted a preliminary inquiry, which led to a notice to the hospital administration. Action will be taken after a clarification from the hospital, he said, adding that “the administration of the facility had been asked to stop taking fresh admissions on immediate basis”.

On Thursday, the Sanjay Gandhi Hospital Employee Association wrote to UP Governor Anandiben Patel and Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, saying that sealing of the hospital threatened their livelihood and demanding the resumption of services. 

“The applicants are on the verge of becoming unemployed. With the hospital getting closed, the education and the livelihood of the families of its employees is also set to be adversely impacted while lakhs of people of Amethi are facing trouble for medicines and treatment,” the association wrote in their letter, a copy of which has been seen by ThePrint.

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‘Pillar of healthcare support’

Gandhi, the BJP MP from Pilibhit, wrote in his letter that people from Amethi and its surrounding districts visit the hospital daily for consultations, diagnostic tests and treatment, and that the hospital employs 450 staff members. 

“The decision to suspend its licence has far-reaching implications for the region’s healthcare access, employment and education…The suspension of the hospital’s licence will create a significant void in the region’s healthcare landscape, impacting our citizens’ well-being,” he wrote.

He also sought to highlight the potential impact on the nursing and paramedical students enrolled in the facility.

“…The hospital plays a commendable role in healthcare education by training 600 nursing and 200 paramedic students yearly. Suspending the hospital’s licence unilaterally, without affording it any opportunity to explain, raises concerns,” he said.

Gandhi said tragic events unfold in any healthcare facility, regardless of its ownership.

“…Conducting a detailed root cause analysis (RCA) and implementing its findings across all hospitals, to eliminate any further incidents due to incumbent circumstances, would be appropriate,” he said.

(Edited by Smriti Sinha)

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