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Bhopal Gas tragedy: Probe against BMHRC
Published on 14 Jun. 2010 12:26 AM IST
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The government on Sunday ordered a probe into the death of a Bhopal gas tragedy victim after CNN-IBN exposed how the Bhopal Memorial Hospital and Research Centre (BMHRC) turned away the victim without any treatment two months ago.
Reacting to the TV report, Dinesh Trivedi, Minister of State for Health said, “We want to find out what was the objective of the hospital, if it is meant primarily for the unfortunate, Bhopal victims. I saw CNN-IBN program about the young lady who died due to this. I am outraged, it is atrocious, it cannot be allowed to go on like this. I have asked my department to give a report within a day. As far as the punishment is concerned, we have to go as per the law of the land.”
The Bhopal Memorial Hospital and Research Centre (BMHRC), a trust headed by former Supreme Court Justice A H Ahmadi is today catering to the rich instead of taking care of the victims of the gas tragedy. The hospital has now been served a notice by Bhopal’s chief medical officer for refusing admission to a gas victim, who later died.
Indu Sharma was six years old when the deadly MIC leaked from the infamous Union Carbide factory. Since 1984, she had a chronic lung infection. What her family still carries with them is a card that was given to every gas victim in Bhopal then – a card that promised them free treatment. But it was a promise that was not honoured. On the April 20, 2010, when Indu was referred to the Bhopal Memorial Hospital and Research Centre, a hospital supposed to provide medication to gas victims, what the duty doctor at BMHRC wrote on her reference slip was this: “We can’t admit the patient right now. Come tomorrow with all the investigations.” Two days later, 32-year-old Indu Sharma was dead.
Indu’s husband Mukesh said, “I went to the hospital with my wife after she was referred to BMHRC from People’s Hospital. They had said that since she was gas victim she would get treatment at BMHRC but when I reached there the doctors, after wasting a lot of time, said they did not have any vacancy in the hospital.”
Several such cases of gas victims needing medical attention being turned away by BMHRC have been reported in the past as well and this, ironically, when gas victims are to be provided medication free of cost.
What’s worse is that those not affected by the gas tragedy of 1984, with the right connections, often have easy access to BMHRC’s facilities. But despite several complaints, even the state health authorities have not been able to do anything about it.
The BMHRC though initially set up as a super specialty hospital to take care of the gas victims has often failed victims like Indu Sharma who have been turned away from the gates of the hospital. The rich and the powerful on the other hand have had no problems availing five star facilities at the hospital
Chief Medical Officer Bhopal, Dr Pankaj Shukla said, “They have responded to our notice after a month and their reply is not satisfactory at all. I have complained about this to my minister, Mr Anup Mishra (Madhya Pradesh health minister), who in turn has promised to take up the matter with the Union Chemical ministry that controls the BMHRC.
When the Bhopal Memorial Hospital and Research Centre was set up in the early 90s, its primary role was to study the long term impact of the deadly MIC gas on the victims. But much like the tragedy, this hospital’s role too, now lies forgotten.

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