The SAD-BJP alliance government's tall claims about providing best healthcare facilities in government hospitals notwithstanding, a Nepalese cook, Dhan Bahadur, on Saturday alleged that the local trauma centre authorities were "negligent" in treating his two children admitted there after receiving fatal injuries in a fire at his Garha residence in the morning.
His five-year-old daughter Shiwarika, a UKG student, and two-month-old son (yet to get a name) died of burn injuries. "My children could have been saved. But the initial delay in start of treatment and complete lack of interest of the medical staff led to their death. The medical staff are insensitive in dealing with such cases," he alleged, tears rolling down his cheeks.
Dhan Bahadur said, "As I reached the trauma centre, the staff on duty asked me to first bring a syringe and other medicines. I rushed out of the hospital and had to visit four medicine shops in the market before returning with the desired medicines."
'Insensitive, inhuman treatment'
The medical staff then applied a cream on children's bodies and started administrating glucose, he said. "The staff were so insensitive that I had to shout from the bed at regular intervals to alert nurses that glucose bottles have been finished," he alleged.
"Even after death of my daughter, the security staff forced the family members to leave the ward, leaving my wailing wife, Sushma, alone beside the body. "This is completely inhuman that relatives were not allowed to sit there to comfort my wife," he said, demanding a high-level inquiry to fix the responsibility into the incident.
Burn victims in general ward
During a visit to the trauma centre, the Hindustan Times team found that the burn patients were admitted to general ward instead of the special burn ward, thus exposing them to the risk of catching infection from other patients.
Besides, the burn patients were not shifted to an air-conditioned ward, so as to lessen their suffering. The medical staff also did not put nets on the burn victims.
So much so that the burn ward was recently converted into the intensive care unit (ICU) with three beds only while the ICU was converted into the general ward.
Hot and humid conditions prevailed in the general ward since none of the air-conditioners was operational. All patients were seen complaining of hot conditions.
Sources said air-conditioners in the erstwhile ICU were non-functional for the past over two months. Interestingly, air-conditioner in the doctor's room on the ground floor was fully operational. Sources said converting burn ward into ICU was a clear violation of the norms.
MS promises to look into matter
Medical superintendent Dr Bhag Mal said the burn ward was temporarily converted into the ICU since there was a surge of critical patients at the trauma centre. On the issue of asking the burn victims' father to buy medicines, he said the trauma centre had no shortage of any medicines. "I will check with the staff on Sunday and revert back," he said.
Admitting that ACs were non-functional, the MS said these ACs were recently got repaired. "It may be because cooling gas sometimes gets leaked and ACs do not work to the desired level. I will look into the matter," he said.