On Saturday, Rajasthan’s Tourism Minister and Congress leader Vishvendra Singh took to Twitter to claim that a pregnant Muslim woman was refused admission in a hospital by one Dr Muneet Valia in Bharatpur “because she was a Muslim.” He claimed that the doctor said she must go to Jaipur to get her checkup done since she is Muslim.
Pregnant Muslim Woman was refused medical attention at the Zenana Hospital in #Bharatpur & was told to go to Jaipur given her religion. Local Bharatpur MLA is State Health Minister & this is the condition of the hospital in Bharatpur City. Shameful. pic.twitter.com/Rd2i4UZGk3— Vishvendra Singh Bharatpur (@vishvendrabtp) April 4, 2020
Many social media users found it odd that the minister was accusing the doctor without any inquiry committee founding him guilty of professional misconduct. However, the transfer slip issued by the said doctor to the patient was soon shared by netizens which suggested a different story.
Journalist Soumyadipta shared the referral slip issued by the clinic which showed that the patient, the Muslim woman, was highly anaemic and on her 7th pregnancy which made it a complicated case.
Here’s the complete story (the circled term G6P7, APH)👇🏾— Soumyadipta (@Soumyadipta) April 5, 2020
This is a case of Antepartum Haemorrhage (APH) or bleeding prior to delivery.
The patient was anaemic & undergoing her seventh pregnancy.
Hence her case was deemed complicated.
She was rightly referred to a better hospital. https://t.co/QnSsmJSDcT pic.twitter.com/vjvtaXjxD6
As per the referral slip, the patient was suffering from Antepartum Haemorrhage (APH), i.e. bleeding prior to delivery. She was anaemic and on her 7th pregnancy. Hence, owing to the complications of the case, she was referred to the bigger hospital in Jaipur since the clinic was not equipped to handle the complicated case.
Note: The patient was referred to a better hospital to save the 7th pregnancy as the attending doctor clearly didn’t have the means to attend the medical case. In such small government hospitals, there is only one attending junior doctor and doesn’t perform complicated procedures— Soumyadipta (@Soumyadipta) April 5, 2020
Another social media user and a doctor himself, Dr Amit Thadani, also explained that the referral slip contained the words “no investigation available” which means this was an unregistered seventh pregnancy of the lady.
Note the words “no investigations available”. No ANC papers, unregistered seventh pregnancy, uninvestigated, with severe anemia and APH – this patient would be very high risk even in a tertiary hospital. https://t.co/jgUu803wTt— Amit Thadhani (@amitsurg) April 5, 2020
Speaking to OpIndia, a doctor said that the woman was 26-28 weeks pregnant and while normal pregnancy lasts 38-40 weeks. So it was indeed a complicated pregnancy which could’ve risked the lives of the mother and child.
Hindustan Times Bureau Chief Rakesh Awasthi took to Twitter to share the byte of a lady who was accompanying the pregnant woman who clarifies that the doctor did not refer them to Jaipur hospital because they are Muslims.
Aise to na kahi ki tum musalmaan ho (they didn’t say you are Muslim): This testimony is equally important as the one by the man claiming his wife was turned away from Bharatpur hospital for being a Muslim. #Rajasthan @vishvendrabtp @Soumyadipta pic.twitter.com/wbpJILlZSg— Rakesh Goswami (@DrRakeshGoswami) April 5, 2020
The lady can be heard saying that the doctor asked them to leave, perhaps because the patient was in critical health and delay could have been harmful.
The incident has thus left people wondering if the state government was throwing the doctor under the bus to enable a narrative where they earn liberal brownie points. Truth will come out only once a fair and proper inquiry is done.