The Rajasthan government has ordered an inquiry into a man’s allegation that his pregnant wife was turned away by a state-run hospital in Bharatpur due to the family’s Muslim identity, The Indian Express reported.
The woman delivered a baby in an ambulance on the way to Jaipur, after which the family returned to the hospital, only to be turned away again, 34-year-old Irfan Khan alleged. The baby had died by then. Doctors at Bharatpur’s RBM Jenana Hospital had referred the couple to a hospital in Jaipur.
“We didn’t even cross Bharatpur, she delivered the child on the way and the baby died,” Khan said, according to ANI.
Bharatpur MLA and Minister of State for Medical Education Subhash Garg denied that the family was disallowed treatment because they were Muslims, and said an inquiry has been ordered into the incident. Garg said the allegations do not reflect in “statements given by the patient’s attendant [a relative] and the patient herself”. Medical Education Secretary Vaibhav Galriya said necessary action will be taken against the hospital if needed.
RBM Jenana Hospital Principal Dr Rupendra Jha told ANI that he would be able to comment on the matter once the investigation is done.
Khan told The Indian Express he suspects the staff attending to his wife thought they were connected to the Tablighi Jamaat, an Islamic outfit that has been blamed for over 1,000 Covid-19 infections across the country. Thousands of Tablighi Jamaat members attended a congregation in Delhi last month.
“We went to the hospital in Bharatpur this morning,” Khan said on Saturday. “In the labour room, doctors asked my name and address. I told them my name and that I had come from Nagar. They asked me whether I was Muslim. I said yes. The doctors got alert and said, ‘Muslim...then you won’t get any treatment here’.”