Hospital denies segregation of patients on the basis of religion

Ahmedabad: Professor Dr GH Rathod, General Surgeon and Medical Superintendent of Civil Hospital, Asarwa, refuted reports making the rounds in certain sections of the media that patients were being segregated on the basis of faith at the newly created COVID-19 hospital.

Through a statement released on Wednesday, Prof Rathod said that “patients are not segregated on the basis of faith. The patients are admitted and kept in different, respective wards based on their male, female, children status, based on their medical condition, based on their positive or negative suspect corona status, based on their condition (critical/serious) based on pre-existing co-morbid condition like diabetes, hypertension, heart disease, kidney disease etc after thorough discussion between treating doctors, in the best interest of the patients.”

The Medical Superintendent further clarified that news which had appeared in some dailies had misquoted him, “that we have made separate wards for Muslims and Hindus. These reports in my name are false and baseless and I condemn it.”

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“I repeat again that we admit patients in various wards in their best interest, based on their medical condition, and not on faith,” he stressed.

Meanwhile, India on Wednesday dismissed concerns of United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) over reports that coronavirus patients were being segregated on the basis of religious identity in an Ahmedabad hospital and asked it to stop adding “religious colour” to the Indian government’s efforts in fighting the COVID-19 pandemic.

External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Anurag Srivastava, in a statement, said the USCIRF is spreading “misguided” reports on the professional medical protocols being followed to deal with the spread of COVID-19 in India.

“As if its peremptory commentary on religious freedom in India is not enough, the USCIRF is now spreading misguided reports on the professional medical protocols followed to deal with the spread of COVID-19 in India,” the statement read.

“It must stop adding religious colour to our national goal of fighting the pandemic and distract from larger efforts. No segregation is being done in civil hospitals on the basis of religion, as clarified by the Gujarat Government,” it added.

The MEA’s prompt reaction comes after USCIRF expressed concern with media reports of Hindu and Muslim patients being lodged in separate hospital wards in a Gujarat hospital.

The USCIRF is a US federal government commission created by the International Religious Freedom Act of 1998. The Commissioners of the organisation are appointed by the US President and the leadership of both political parties in the Senate and the House of Representatives.

As per the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare on Wednesday there are 695 COVID-19 cases in Gujarat. 30 deaths have been reported in the State due to the infection so far.

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