Gorakhpur BRD Hospital Tragedy: The Uttar Pradesh Government on August 12 suspended Dr Rajeev Mishra, the Principal of the Gorakhpur-based BRD medical college where over 30 children died within a span of 48 hours due to lack of oxygen supply. Dr A K Srivastava, who was transferred as the Chief Medical Superintendent (CMS) of the hospital on August 10, accused the wife of the suspended principal of calling the shots at the college. Srivastava held Mishra’s wife, Dr Purnima Shukla responsible and said that she interfered in all administrative decisions. “She had complete say on posting of the staff through outsourcing, transfer and promotions in the medical college, though files were formally signed by her husband. If the inquiry is conducted into postings, transfers and promotions done at the college in the past one year, her role would be established,” Mishra told Indian Express.
He added that her clout was public knowledge among the officials and staff at the college. He said that Shukla dictated the tenders of the college too, ever since Mishra took over as principal in January 2016. Further while talking over Purnima Shukla’s role in the hospital he said that she was a doctor of homoeopathy and was earlier posted at a Community Health Centre, before getting a posting at the medical college last year.
When contacted, Dr Purnima Shukla denied all allegations against her and said, “Any professional these days has no time to interfere in other’s office work… but there should be no objection to helping or supporting anyone.” While talking about the allegations made by A K Srivastava, she said, “Dr Srivastava should not make such allegations because Dr Saheb (Mishra) has done a lot for him.”
Shukla then talked about the delay in payment to the oxygen supplier and said, “Approval of funds and transfer of money to the districts takes time. Process for payment had been initiated at 11.59 am on August 8. But, he (Mishra) got busy with preparations for the visit of the Chief Minister, scheduled on August 9. After that, he left for Rishikesh to attend a meeting following a directive of the state government. But he came back Saturday morning after the deaths of the children.”