The parents of a one-year-old boy in Uttar Pradesh’s Kannauj district have alleged that he died after doctors at a government hospital in the district refused to treat him for a fever and swollen neck, NDTV reported on Monday. A video has emerged of the father lying on the ground holding the child’s body and weeping while the mother sits at a distance and cries inconsolably.
Premchand and Asha Devi alleged that doctors at the government hospital refused to touch their ailing son and asked them to take him to Kanpur. The couple added that the doctors agreed to examine the child only after onlookers started recording videos. “Before that, no doctor was willing to touch my child,” Premchand told NDTV. “We were there [at the hospital] for 30 minutes. They kept on saying ‘take him to Kanpur’. I am a poor person. I have no money. What could I have done.”
The district administration, however, claimed that the child was given proper medical care. “The boy was brought to the hospital at 4.15 pm yesterday [Sunday] evening,” Rajesh Kumar Mishra, a top government official in Kannauj, was quoted as saying by the news channel. “The case was very serious. A child specialist was called to the emergency ward but in a space of 30 minutes he [the boy] died. The doctors say they tried their best but the child could not be saved. Prima facie it does not seem there was any negligence.”
Doctors at the hospital in Kannauj told Dainik Bhaskar that the child had brain fever and was referred to Kanpur because he was in a serious condition. “There was no negligence on the hospital’s part,” Dr UC Chaturvedi told the newspaper. “Emergency medical care was given to the child.”
The Samajwadi Party expressed grief over the child’s death and demanded an inquiry into the incident. “A fever-stricken child lost his life because he was denied treatment,” the party wrote on Twitter along with a video of the grieving parents. “It seems like healthcare providers in Uttar Pradesh have lost all humanity.”