In an appalling incident, a 9-year-old girl was left to die as the doctors at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences made the family wait for hours in queue to complete the hospital formalities without which the treatment could not start.
Raushan Kumar was suffering from high fever when her parents brought her to AIIMS on Tuesday. The family had travelled 140 kms from their Kajra village in Lakhisarai district. The doctors refused to start her treatment until the family had obtained a ‘parcha’ (registration card).
The girl’s condition reportedly deteriorated as her father Rambalak stood in a queue. He made desperate pleas to doctors present, but his requests fell on deaf ears. The family even pleaded to the clerk at the counter but he too refused and asked them to wait for their turn.
“By the time Rambalak left the counter after getting the registration done, his daughter had died,” IANS quoted a staff of a private agency contracted for cleaning operations at the hospital said on condition of anonymity.
Their agony did not end here. The devastated family was then denied an ambulance to carry the dead body of their daughter to the village. With no money to hire a private vehicle, the father was forced to carry the dead body of his daughter for nearly four kms to an auto-rickshaw stand at Phulwari Sharif.
AIIMS Director Dr Prabhat Kumar Singh said he had no information that a critical patient had died due to lack of treatment.
“As far as a ‘parcha’ is concerned, doctors treat critical patients without it and later their registration is done. But I will inquire into this case if it has happened,” he told IANS.
Interestingly, Patna AIIMS does not have an Emergency Ward. Rashtriya Janata Dal chief Lalu Prasad slammed the Nitish Kumar government for its “apathy towards the poorest of the poor” which, he claimed, led to the girl’s death, and demanded a high-level probe.
“Everything has collapsed in Bihar, including law and order, education, and health. The latest incident of the girl’s death at Patna AIIMS vindicates our stand. There is no facility for the poor for treatment — they have been left to die, as happened in this case.”
He also took a dig at Union Minister of State for Health Ashwani Kumar Choubey, who last week reportedly suggested that patients from Bihar should be treated at Patna’s AIIMS and not in AIIMS at Delhi.
Choubey’s alleged remark about Biharis “crowding” AIIMS at Delhi even for minor ailments had drawn criticism from opposition parties.
Lalu Prasad said, “Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and his deputy Sushil Kumar Modi have no time for genuine health issues. Both are busy showing their faces in the media, more or less on the lines of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.”
“Girls are dying for want of ‘bhat'(rice) in Jharkhand and lack of treatment in Bihar,” the RJD chief remarked while referring to the death of 11-year-old Santoshi Kumari in Simdega district in neighbouring Jharkhand due to starvation.