The Gorakhpur Hospital Tragedy
A HARROWING MEDICAL CRISIS.
A DOCTOR IN THE EYE OF THE STORM.
HIS ACCOUNT OF WHAT REALLY HAPPENED.
On the evening of 10 August 2017, liquid oxygen ran out at the state-run Baba Raghav Das Medical College’s Nehru Hospital in Gorakhpur,
Uttar Pradesh. Reportedly, over the next two days, more than eighty patients – sixty-three children and eighteen adults – lost their lives. In the intervening hours, Dr Kafeel Khan, the junior-most lecturer at the college’s paediatrics department, went to extraordinary lengths to secure oxygen cylinders, perform emergency treatment and rally the staff in order to prevent as many deaths as possible.
As the news of the tragedy grabbed national attention, Khan was called a hero for working ceaselessly to control the crisis and drawing attention to a healthcare system in dire need of repair. But a few days later, he found himself suspended and that an FIR had been filed against nine individuals, including him, for corruption and medical negligence, among other grave charges. Soon after he was summarily carted off to jail.
The Gorakhpur Hospital Tragedy is Kafeel Khan’s first-hand chronicle of the events of that fateful night in August 2017 and the gut-wrenching turmoil that followed – a suspension without end, an eight-month-long incarceration and a relentless fight for justice in the face of extreme apathy and persecution.