Vikarabad hospital faces state backlash
DECCAN CHRONICLE | Kaniza Garari
Hyderabad: The management of Crawford Memorial Hospital in Vikarabad and the district administration seem to be caught in a mud-slinging battle.
On Sunday, hospital superintendent, Dr B. Avinash, said district officials had confiscated the original copy of the hospital’s operating licence. Afterwards, he said, the officials sent him a show cause notice for running the hospital without a license.
On Wednesday, and Thursday, Dr Avinash made waves after claiming to the media that around 150 dengue-positive patients had come to Crawford Memorial for treatment over the past few days.
The hospital could not accommodate these patients indoors so some of them were made to sit outdoors.
Dr Avinash blamed the district administration for this apparent rise in dengue cases.
"The district administration is not taking the necessary measures to control the mosquito population. This is causing a high number of dengue cases," he told regional media outlets.
The claim raised quite a furore.
The district health department sent in a team to collect blood samples from the patients but they were unwilling.
Later, a larger team, with district medical health officer (DHMO), Dr Sudhakar, arrived, along with policemen. The DHMO said Dr Avinash had made false statements and there had been only 105 dengue cases in Vikarabad district between January and October 2019.
He said the people were being misled about having dengue.
On Friday, Dr Avinash told Deccan Chronicle he could prove that those who had come to his hospital were suffering from dengue and he wasn’t lying.
"I have around 45 test reports of patients, issued by diagnostic centres in Vikarabad.
These people are coming to us because government hospitals are not admitting them and referring them to hospitals in Hyderabad. These people cannot afford to travel there," he said.
He claimed that the medical and health department was harassing him.
"The officials came on Thursday evening with policemen. They asked me to produce the original copy of the hospital's operating licence and I did.
They took it away from me. Later, they sent me a show cause notice for operating without a license!" he exclaimed.
Dr Avinash claimed he had the necessary documentation to prove the officials wrong.
Meanwhile, a senior official from the district medical and health department said the test reports that Dr Avinash had in his possession were not convincing.
"There are currently no testing centres in Vikarabad that can perform confirmatory tests for dengue.
Only IgM and ELISA tests can be taken as final. But there are some kits available on the market that test NS1 antigen. This is a rapid test. Their results cannot be taken as dengue-positive. Dr Avinash is misrepresenting these tests and creating panic among the general public," he said.
The official said people at Crawford Memorial were schooled by Dr Avinash to resist attempts to test them.
"He brainwashed the patients and told them to resist us. The first team that went there to investigate the matter had to cut their visit short because of this.
Later, another team visited and it found the hospital was operating without any license," he said.
Responding to the allegation that the officials’ team confiscated the hospital’s license, he said, "This is a lie.
Why would we do such a thing? We have the records to prove what we say. We will definitely prove this in the courts."
Dr Avinash claimed he was the victim of a smear campaign.
"The government is scared of admitting to the prevalence of dengue cases. The district administration knows that any positive cases will get them in trouble. So they are under-reporting the figures.
They (the officials) are trying to discredit me by spreading these lies," he said.