System failing the ailing

System failing the ailing

Lack of beds in government hospitals keep haunting the patients in need of immediate and prolonged care. The case of Vijay Pal, a patient with brain injury, is a pointer to that.

In certain cases even after depositing the required amount, patients are not admitted and sent elsewhere. Experience of Vijay Pal highlights the apathy of the authorities in providing healthcare to its needy citizens.

Vijay Pal, from Meerut, came to Delhi three months ago. He had met with an accident more than a decade ago. He suffered a minor brain injury, the effects of which are being felt now.  “Nearly three months ago, he became unconscious while on work. This became regular. Local doctors failed to diagnose. Then the doctor at Ghaziabad sent us to the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS),” said Sunita, Pal’s wife.

The couple came to Delhi along with a few relatives. At the AIIMS, Pal was sent to the department of neuroradiology where he was diagnosed of tentorial meningioma, a kind of brain tumor.
He was asked to get himself admitted in the hospital, as early as possible.

The family ran around to collect Rs 15,000 as prior deposit for the treatment. Four bottles of blood were also donated, which would be needed during surgery. Pal was given medication for free, if taken from the hospital. The family got a shock on March 12 when they were told that there was no possibility of getting a bed. The prescription of Pal read, “regarding no bed available here, referred to any other government hospital.”

“We have been staying under the shelter in AIIMS for months in the hope of getting a bed. Food and bathing are big issues. But we still do not know if we’ll get treatment,” said Pawan Kumar, Pal’s nephew, who has been carrying his uncle on back for three months as Pal’s all four limbs have developed acute weakness. Pawan said the person at blood bank counter asked him to donate blood for social service.

“For him, it was a matter of fun. For us, who do not know anyone in the city, those four bottles meant a lot,” he rued. Kumar carried his uncle to Ram Manohar Lohia hospital, which also refused a bed on same grounds.

“At RML, we were told informally that there will not be any bed for a few months. Finally, we have come to GB Pant hospital. This is the last hope,” said Sunita.

Pal said, with tears in his eyes: “I feel I am getting weak from within. Now summer is setting in and it will be even more difficult to survive without basic minimum facilities and a bed in a hospital.”

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