A perusal of records of patients admitted to the intensive care unit (ICU) of government-owned Purnia sadar hospital may lead one into believing that only politicians face health emergencies in this northeastern district of Bihar.
The records suggest that out of 36 lakh patients treated in the Purnia sadar hospital between 2010 and 2016, only 20 patients were admitted to the ICU. The majority of them were politicians.
“Most of the patients admitted to the ICU of Purnia sadar hospital since 2010 are political leaders,” hospital sources said, while refusing to divulge the names of VIP patients.
A hospital official, not willing to be identified, however, said: “Politicians who have so far undergone treatment at the ICU included former Bihar minister Leshi Singh, Madhepura MP Rajesh Ranjan alias Pappu Yadav and local strongman Awadhesh Mandal.”
Mandal is the husband of former minister and Rupauli MLA Bima Bharti
Interestingly, these ‘VIP’ patients have been admitted to the ICU more than once.
“You need a political clout to get admitted to the ICU here. Jailbirds with political links, who dislike prison restrictions, manage to get favourable recommendations for admission to a hospital where they can also meet people,” said a doctor.
He said a recommendation from the prison doctor is enough for them to be admitted even though they may not have any serious ailment.
When reached for comments, Purnia civil surgeon MM Wasim said the hospital had only 32 doctors against the sanctioned strength of 62. As such, the hospital is unable to admit serious patients on a large scale in the ICU."
The ICU was established in the in the burn ward of the hospital in 2006 and was shifted to its own building in 2010.