The Indian Medical Association has written to the Uttar Pradesh government requesting a consideration of the three-year-old suspension of Dr Kafeel Khan.
Khan, a paediatrician of the Baba Raghav Das Medical College in Gorakhpur, had been suspended in the wake of what has since been called the oxygen gas tragedy, which occurred in August 2017.
Other doctors, including the principal of the college, had also been suspended, but all barring Khan have been reinstated.
The UP chapter of the IMA has addressed its letter to the minister for medical education requesting a consideration of Khan’s plight “with compassion and merit and also to consider regarding his suspension”.
“Thanking you in anticipation of a positive reply. The life, health and dignity of doctors and family is most important to us,” reads the letter drafted by the IMA’s state president and honorary secretary.
There have so far been nine inquiry reports that have exonerated Khan of medical negligence and corruption. These have ranged from those conducted by the district magistrate of Gorakhpur to the director general of medical education and the Central government’s Ministry of Health and another initiated by the High Court.
Other medical bodies such as the PMSF (Progressive Medicos and Scientists Forum) and MSC (Medical Services Centre) have also written to the Uttar Pradesh chief minister in support of Khan.
G.V. Basavaraj, the honorary secretary of the Indian Academy of Paediatrics, told THE WEEK that the body would also formulate its response as Khan had reached out to it. “Once we examine the minutes of the meeting, we shall decide what we should do,” he said.
Khan said that he was in limbo as the government was neither terminating his services nor revoking his suspension. This prevented him from seeking employment elsewhere or starting a private practice. “Even the CM of Kerala had asked me to help during the outbreak of the Nipah virus (2018) but I could not, given my circumstances”.
He added that the suspension had taken both an emotional and financial toll on him and his family.
Khan said he was keen to offer his services at this critical juncture. “As winter approaches, and children catch infections and have lowered immunity, they will become super spreaders. This is the time for me to discharge my duties,” he said