Pintu Singh, 34
Balangir district, Odisha
Pintu Singh has been coming to Safdarjung Hospital for the past 13 years to treat an infection in his right knee.
He says that for the first 10 years, he was just referred from one department to another. He went on trying until it became clear that he was not going to get treatment. By this time the problem had aggravated so much that his family took him to a private hospital.
Four years ago, Pintu’s right leg was amputated. “I was referred from one department to another. First, I was sent to the orthopaedic department, then the neurological department and then the surgical department. This went on for about 10 years,” said Singh .
Even after the amputation at the private hospital, Pintu’s troubles are far from over. “There is no relief. We had to sell our property for the treatment at a private hospital. But the infection is back,” said Singh.
Singh and his brother Rakesh Singh, don’t have a place to stay in Delhi and have made the footpath their temporary home. Rakesh does odd jobs to support them.
“Recently we had got an X-ray done. Doctors are now advising another amputation above the knee. It’s very depressing. He can atleast move by himself but once the whole leg would be gone, he would be rendered bedridden. It is going to be very painful for us,” said Rakesh.
Rakesh says that the working at the hospital has hardly changed in the past decade. He claims that there were queues then and there are queues now. “Nothing has changed,” said Rakesh when asked if he has seen any changes in the ten years that he had been visiting the hospital.
“We have been coming to this hospital for more than a decade but the workstyle hasn’t changed. They still make us run around aimlessly without purpose, instead of treating us,” said Rakesh.
Raja Chauhan, 4
Raja Chauhan was referred to Safdarjung Hospital from Jaipur when doctors in Rajasthan could not diagnose the cause of his swollen belly and limbs. “The problem started in January but hospitals, both big and small, could not detect his condition. Finally we were referred to Safdarjung Hospital,” said Manish Chauhan, Raja’s father, a resident of Bikaner in Rajasthan.
Chauhan, accompanied with his wife Rakhi, came to Safdarjung on May 18 this year, when they were asked to get an ultrasound done.
“We got the ultrasound done at the hospital on June 1 but were told two weeks later that our ultrasound report has been misplaced and that we’ll have to get it done again,” said Chauhan.
Another date for the ultrasound was issued within a week as the hospital admitted its mistake. But in the meantime, the swelling in Raja’s body had doubled. The family was on their way to the doctor with the second set of ultrasound reports when HT caught up with them.
“Finally, after waiting for months, we might get to know what really happened to him. Safdarjung is our last resort and I hope my son’s condition gets diagnosed this time so that the treatment could start,” said Chauhan.