Pregnant woman refused attention in government hospital, alleges Rajasthan Minister

State Health Minister says religious angle was unlikely.

Updated - April 05, 2020 01:26 pm IST

Published - April 05, 2020 12:25 pm IST - JAIPUR

A medical team examining people in wake of the coronavirus pandemic, during the nationwide Lockdown, in Jaipur on March 31.

A medical team examining people in wake of the coronavirus pandemic, during the nationwide Lockdown, in Jaipur on March 31.

An allegation by senior Congress leader and Rajasthan Tourism Minister Vishvendra Singh that a pregnant woman was refused medical attention at a government hospital in Bharatpur because of her “religious identity” led to a major controversy here on Saturday. The 32-year-old woman was referred in a critical condition by the hospital to Jaipur.

Mr. Singh alleged that a gynaecologist at the R.B.M. Government Hospital in Bharatpur refused to conduct the delivery of a woman, belonging to Nagar tehsil, when she came to know that the woman was a Muslim. “The child, who was later delivered in an ambulance, died. What worse can we ask for?” he tweeted.

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Mr. Singh – representing Deeg-Kumher constituency in the State Assembly and also a member of the erstwhile royal family – said the incident had taken place despite the Minister of State for Medical & Health, Subhash Garg, being an MLA from Bharatpur.

Inquiry ordered

Dr. Garg told The Hindu that he had ordered an inquiry into the alleged incident and would take action against the doctor concerned if she was found guilty. “It was a case of premature delivery, for which the women are generally referred to a bigger facility. A religious angle in such a matter is prima facie unlikely to be true,” he said.

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The woman's husband, Irfan Khan, said he had brought back his wife to R.B.M. Hospital after the newborn child's death and got her admitted there. He alleged that the police officers probing the matter were exerting pressure on him to change his statement.

Mr. Singh also sought to link the alleged incident with the suspicion created about the Tablighi Jamaat members, a large number of whom have tested COVID-19 positive during the current pandemic . “Tablighi Jamaat has been hazardous to the country, but it does not mean that the citizens of Islamic faith should be treated the way the woman was handled,” he said.

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