No ambulance, so woman delivers baby in auto, loses him

The pregnant woman took an auto rickshaw after the authorities at a primary health centre near her home declined to provide an ambulance to carry her to the Muzaffarpur sadar hospital, about 25 km away.

india Updated: Jun 13, 2017 10:05 IST
Ajay Kumar
Ajay Kumar
Hindustan Times, Muzaffarpur
Ambulance denial,Pregnant woman,Autorickshaw delivery
At many health centres and hospitals in Bihar accessing an ambulance is never easy. (HT representative pic)

MUZAFFARPUR Rekha Devi does not know who to blame -her fate or the poor health facilities at the government owned hospital, for the loss of her child.

A resident of Raghunathpur under Musahari block in Muzaffarpur district of north Bihar, 25 kilometers east of the district headquarters, Rekha lost her baby boy within minutes of his birth in an auto rickshaw, while traversing the decrepit road leading to the sadar hospital.

She had to take an auto rickshaw because the authorities at the primary health centre (PHC) at Musahari failed to provide her an ambulance to transport her to the Muzaffarpur sadar hospital, for her delivery, after she developed severe labour pain.

“Had the PHC authorities provided an ambulance, she would not have had to go through the trauma of negotiating jerky roads in an auto rickshaw and could have delivered her baby safely in the hospital. But, destiny had something else in store”, said Sanjay, her brother-in-law.

Rekha is now recovering at the hospital.

This was not the first instance in which a patient had to bear the brunt of the inadequate medical infrastructure in the district and callousness of those manning the government medical facilities.

Earlier, a woman from Pilkhi (Muzaffarpur), Soni Kumari, gave birth to a baby on the verandah of sadar hospital as doctors on duty refused to admit her because she did not have the test reports that, they said, she ought to be carrying.

“She ran from one office to another to collect her reports despite being in pain and ended up delivering her baby on the floor. Later, the hospital administration got her admitted to female ward to save its face”, said an employee familiar with the case.

In another instance, the body of an unidentified woman was carried in a hand pulled garbage tricycle to be disposed of at the mortuary of Muzaffarpur’s Sri Krishna Medical College Hospital recently after it lay unattended for two days at a park, just 20 metres away from its main gate.

The conditions have not improved despite the state health society writing thrice to the civil surgeon-cum-chief medical officer of the district, asking him to improve the facilities after taking cognizance of the reports appearing in HT.

Thanks to the HT reports, the state health society had provided four more ambulances to the sadar hospital.

Civil surgeon Dr Lalita Singh admitted she had a few ambulances and a mortuary van at her disposal which, she claimed, the needy could freely access.

But, when asked about non availability of the ambulances or mortuary van to those in need in the instances cited by HT, she remained silent.

First Published: Jun 01, 2017 17:59 IST