A pregnant woman died overnight on the verandah of Rajendra Institute of Medical Science (RIMS) – Jharkhand's premier state-run hospital - after she was allegedly made to wait for five hours for a bed, her family said on Tuesday.
Twenty nine-year-old Neetu Devi was brought to the hospital in severe labour pain on Monday evening but RIMS authorities failed to admit her immediately and offer medical assistance. While her relatives pleaded for a bed for her, the woman writhed in pain on the hospital verandah.
Devi, who also suffered from heart complications, had been referred to RIMS on Sunday by the Gulma district hospital, 100 km west of Ranchi.
Unable to cope on with the excruciating pain, Devi died late Monday.
"My wife and child died because of the negligence of the hospital staff," said Devi's husband Laldev Oraon.
"There was no doctor at the gynaecology department and junior doctors wouldn't hear me out," said Oraon, who was told by nurses that they could admit his wife only on a doctor's permission.
"At around 10:30 pm on Monday, when nurses changed, a good Samaritan provided my wife a mattress on the verandah. By then it was too late."
Hospital authorities, however, denied knowledge of the incident.
"I haven't received a report or a complaint from the patient's family members," said acting RIMS director Dr SN Choudhary.
"If there has been such an incident we will initiate a probe. The matter would be taken up with hospital director when he returns."
Head of the gynaecology department Dr Priti Bala Sahay couldn't be reached for a comment.
Monday's incident adds to the already grim maternal mortality rate of Jharkhand, which currently stands at 261 per one lakh live births, compared to the national average of 212.