Amidst continuing deaths of infants in Gorakhpur (Uttar Pradesh) hospital, another 9-year-old girl died at Patna All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS). This as her poor father was made to complete the formalities for her treatment. It is also alleged that an official posted at the counter refused to help him. The incident has sparked off political blamegame as the opposition RJD on Wednesday demanded a high-level probe into the matter. Raushan Kumari, suffering from high fever for six days, died near the Outdoor Patient Department of the All India Institute of Medical Sciences here on Tuesday. Her father Rambalak and his wife, residents of Kajra village in Lakhisarai district, brought her to AIIMS, following which he was directed by the staff to get a ‘parcha’ (registration card) made at the OPD counter.
As Rambalak, a daily wager, stood in the queue at the counter, his wife told him the girl’s condition had deteriorated. As Rambalak pleaded with people standing in a long queue to allow him to get the formalities completed out of turn, no one paid heed. He even pleaded with the clerk deployed at the counter, but was asked to come in queue. “By the time Rambalak left the counter after getting the registration done, his daughter had died,” a staff of a private agency contracted for cleaning operations at the hospital said on condition of anonymity.
To add to his agony, the distraught man was allegedly not even provided an ambulance by AIIMS officials to ferry the body to his village. With little money on his person, he carried his daughter’s body on his shoulder for nearly four km to an auto-rickshaw stand at Phulwari Sharif here.
AIIMS Director Dr Prabhat Kumar Singh said he had no information that a critical patient had died due to lack of treatment. “As far as a ‘parcha’ is concerned, doctors treat critical patients without it and later their registration is done. But I will inquire into this case if it has happened,” he said. Interestingly, Patna AIIMS does not have an Emergency ward. Rashtriya Janata Dal chief Lalu Prasad flayed the Nitish Kumar government for its “apathy towards the poorest of the poor” which, he claimed, led to the girl’s death, and demanded a high-level probe.