Tantrik treats man bitten by snake at UP govt hospital, patient dies

In a shocking incident reflective of the state of affairs of health services in Uttar Pradesh, a snake bite patient was allegedly treated by a tantrik (exorcist) at a government hospital in Ballia district, 400 km from here.

The patient, obviously, died in hospital. According to reports, a farmer who had been bitten by a snake while he was working his fields on Tuesday, had been brought to the district hospital for treatment.

According to the family members of the patient, the doctors on duty at the hospital did not have the anti-snake venom injection and asked them to take the patient to nearby Mau district, 75 km away.

“We told the doctors that the patient may die on the way but they expressed their helplessness and referred him to Mau,” alleged one of the family members.
They then asked the doctors to allow them to call a tantrik to the hospital to treat the patient.

The tantrik, according to the reports, administered some so-called herbs and poured water into the mouth of the patient, but he died a little later.

The family members of the patient later staged a demonstration before the hospital in protest against non-availability of the anti-snake venom injection.
The matter came to light when the pictures showing the tantrik treating the patient became viral on social networking sites.

UP minister Ambika Chaudhary, who happened to be in Ballia, reached the hospital and ordered a probe into the matter.  “Notices have been issued to the chief medical officer and two other doctors. Further action will be decided after their replies are received,” Chaudhary said.

Chaudhary, however, evaded a reply when asked about the non-availability of the anti-snake venom injection in the hospital in the rainy season. Cases of snake bites increase sharply during rainy season.

In many cases, family members get the victims treated by tantriks rather than taking them to hospital. Earlier also there have been instances when ward boys and sweepers were found to be treating patients in UP hospitals.
DH News Service

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