A viral claim on social media states that West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has opened Islamia Hospital in Kolkata that is admitting only Muslim patients and only Muslim doctors can work at the facility.
However, we found that the hospital has been in existence since 1926 and it was closed down five years ago for renovation. It was reopened on 30 May. Anybody, irrespective of their religion, can go to the hospital for treatment, the organisation handling the appointment of Islamia Hospital’s doctors told The Quint’s WebQoof team. Further, doctors from different communities work at the hospital.
The viral claim reads: “Mamata opened an Islamic hospital in Kolkata, Bengal only for Muslims. All doctors are Muslims. Is it going towards Islamic state? (sic)”
WHAT WE FOUND OUT
We came across an article by The Telegraph published on 24 May that mentioned that Islamia Hospital, established in 1926, was scheduled to reopen after being shut down for nearly five years for renovation.
Firhad Hakim, minister in charge of Transport and Housing, tweeted on 30 May that the said hospital was inaugurated with ICU facility and beds for COVID patients.
Speaking to The Telegraph, Amiruddin (Bobby), general secretary of the hospital, and a member of the board of administrators of the Kolkata Municipal Corporation said:
“The hospital will be inaugurated this week. We have got all permissions and have procured life-saving equipment, such as ventilators and BiPAPs. Any COVID patient –irrespective of caste, religion or class – can seek treatment at the hospital.”
We then got in touch with Charring Cross Nursing Home, which is handling the appointment of Islamia Hospital’s doctors, nurses and other staff members.
Rahul Gadia, director of Charring Cross Nursing Home, told The Quint’s WebQoof team that there was no truth to the claim being made on social media.
“The management of the hospital is with us right now. Anybody belonging to any religion can come to the hospital for treatment and even the doctors are from different communities.”Rahul Gadia, Director of Charring Cross Nursing Home
He further shared the names of some of the doctors with us. We then contacted two of the doctors – COVID consultant Dr Anirban Roy Chowdhury and Dr Debrata Saha, who works in the ICU critical care department.
Both the doctors categorically refuted the viral claim and said that there was no discrimination based on religion at the hospital.
Evidently, social media users falsely claimed that the Islamia Hospital is only treating and appointing doctors from the Muslim community.