One-month-old Laxmi died, not because of malnutrition, but because there was no ambulance to take her to the Wada Rural Hospital (RH) on Thursday.
The lone 108 ambulance service started by the Government of Maharashtra with much fanfare a few years ago was also of no help, as it has been awaiting new tyres since the past week and is parked at the Kudus Primary Health Centre (PHC). The hospital ambulance had gone to transport some medicines from the Somta PHC in Dahanu, said the Medical Officer (MO) of the Kudus hospital.
Laxmi was born to Rakesh Yadav, a daily wager in a private company, and Rani, reside at Vasuri in Wada taluka, Palghar. For the past few days, Laxmi had been struggling to breathe and was undergoing treatment at Kudus PHC. Dr Rajendra Bhasme, MO, Kudus PHC told Rakesh that Laxmi needs to be admitted at Wada and so she has to be rushed in an ambulance, which was fitted with oxygen apparatus and other equipment.
“When I called the 108 ambulance service to transport Laxmi,I was told that the ambulance is not available as it was awaiting fresh new tyres,” said Rakesh.
“So I requested Dr Bhasme to arrange the hospital’s ambulance to transport Laxmi to Wada RH. Even that was unavailable,” Rakesh said.
Moreover, Laxmi was on oxygen, and Dr Bhasme removed the oxygen mask from her as we were told to take her to Wada RH,said Rakesh. “Since no ambulance was available, I transported Laxmi in a private vehicle (which had no oxygen apparatus),as I could not afford a private ambulance and after admitting her, she died in the Wada RH, said Rakesh.
“I blame Dr Bhasme for negligence, as to why was the need to remove her oxygen mask, when there was no free government ambulance service available,” said Rakesh.
Meanwhile, Vivek Pandit, president,Shramjeevi Sanghatana, and former MLA has demanded a detailed inquiry into the entire episode and said it is shocking that the government ambulance, which was meant to transport patients, was lying in a sorry state, awaiting new tyres, and that there was no excuse for the death of the month old Laxmi.
Dr Rakesh Bhasme said it was unfortunate that Laxmi died. He confirmed that new tyres were to be fitted in the 108 ambulance and hence it was unavailable and also the hospital’s ambulance was in Somta PHC (near Dahanu) to get some medicines. He said he had personally given Laxmi oxygen for 10 minutes and had made arrangements to take Laxmi in a private vehicle to be admitted in the Wada RH.