Health officials in Uttar Pradesh’s Meerut district allegedly refused to provide an ambulance to a woman who wanted to transport her daughter’s body back to her village in Baghpat.
Two-and-a-half-year-old Gulnad, a resident of Gauripur village in Baghpat district, was referred to Lala Lajpat Rai Medical College Hospital (LLRM) in Meerut by doctors at the Meerut district hospital on Thursday night after her condition deteriorated.
However, Gulnad was declared dead on arrival when she reached LLRM.
Her mother, Imrana, wanted to take her body back to Gauripur, 50 km from Meerut, and initially tried to hire a private ambulance and was reportedly asked to pay Rs 2500 an amount she was not in a position to pay.
When she sought help from the hospital and health officials, she was told government ambulances do not travel outside the district.
Imrana apparently took her daughter’s body back to the Meerut district hospital hoping to get some help from relatives who were in the emergency ward.
“The girl died in medical college and thereafter she came here with the dead body because one of her relatives was admitted in the emergency ward of the district hospital,” Dr Sunil Gupta, superintendent of Meerut district hospital, said, adding that he was informed of the incident on Friday morning.
Dr Gupta said he had inquired from his staff about the incident. “What I came to know (was) that (the) woman didn’t even demand a vehicle from the hospital.”
He further clarified that the hospital does not provide such a facility and it was the family’ responsibility to arrange for transport.
District magistrate Jagatram Tripathi, who was also notified of the matter later, said he would ask concerned officials to inquire about the issue.
A series of similar incidents were reported from various parts of the country in recent past.
September 2— A man in Odisha’s Malkangiri district walked 6 km with his seven-year-old daughter’s body as the ambulance transporting them to the hospital left them midway after learning that the girl has died.
August 30 — A man lost his ailing 12-year-old son on his shoulder after the state-run Lala Lajpat Rai Hospital in Kanpur sent him to a children’s hospital, 250 metres away, without providing an ambulance, stretcher or wheelchair.
August 27 — A man was forced off a bus with his five-day-old baby and mother-in-law, after his ailing wife died in the vehicle in MP’s Damoh district.
August 25 — With his sobbing daughter in tow, a tribal man in Odisha’s Kalahandi district carried his dead wife for more than 10km because he had no money for transport and the government hospital, where she died, refused him an ambulance.