A cot, four men make an ambulance in Betul village

17 December, 2016

On Friday morning, family members of Vimla Bai called 108 ambulance services to take the ailing 78-year-old to a hospital, but in vain. In fact, since Independence, Salaidhana villagers in MP’s Betul district have not seen an ambulance reaching them. 

A few villagers made Vimla Bai lie on a khatiya that they carried on their shoulder for about 5 kms until they reached Bundala village. Salaidhana has no roads, and beyond Bundala, they have been walking to their village.

Surprisingly, the ambulance did not reach Bundala as well. “We sat there for three hours before taking the patient in a bus to Multai primary health centre,” said Vimla Bai’s son Rahul Parte.

“She is complaining of severe headache and bleeding from nostrils. We are still diagnosing the case,” said block medical officer Dr Manoj Khanna.

This is not a one-off incident. Condition of health facilities in Madhya Pradesh have been under a scanner with cases of medical negligence being reported every now and then. In the past two days, Betul district saw two such major cases.

Man carries 12-yr-old son on his shoulder for over 6 km 

On Thursday, a helpless father was seen carrying his 12-year-old son on his shoulder for more than 6 kms as he reportedly had no money to arrange for a vehicle.

Neelesh, son of Moard resident Deviram Pandram, fell from a tree and fractured his leg. For his treatment, Pandram thad been taking his son to the government hospital in Athner tehsil, and was subsequently referred to the district hospital in Betul.

“I am taking my son to the district hospital for more than 6 months and the hospital has now refused to treat him saying I should take him to a private hospital,” Pandram told HT.

Pandram has spent more than Rs 1 lakh on his son’s treatment and has now no money to even hire an auto rickshaw. “I walk several kms daily carrying him because I have no money left. I am a tribal man and we don’t know how private hospitals operate,” said Pandram.

Betul district hospital civil surgeon Dr Ashok Bainaga told HT, “His son’s leg needs proper treatment and the kind of care needed in such cases cannot be provided in the district hospital. He will have to go to a private hospital. We are trying to help him in getting aid from the Mukhyamantri Sahayata Kosh.”

On Wednesday, four infants died in less than 48 hours at a government hospital in Betul. The case came to light on Wednesday when the family members created a ruckus at the hospital alleging medical negligence. The hospital management confirmed only three deaths and no probe had been ordered as yet.