The Hush Post: Imagine the condition of a Civil Government Hospital in the state where government claims better health facilities than elsewhere in the country. In the last two days, the number of expectant mothers admitted in the hospital went up to 156 with only 40 beds available on the hospital premises.
The hospital authorities failed to provide extra beds to accommodate delivery cases and neo-natal patients. As a result, many women with their small infants were forced to rest on the floor in the bone-chilling winter cold. A new born child died, the victim family has alleged that the mother and the child were made to lie down on the floor and the child became sick. And despite the child being sick, they were discharged from the hospital.
Quick in their defence, the hospital authorities claimed that the woman and the newborn baby had been already discharged from the hospital and the baby died the next day. After losing their child, the family was left only with accusations against the hospital staff and doctors, who in turn, as always, hush up the matter trying to save each other’s skin.
Dr Mahant, Medical Superintendent of the Zonal Hospital, Mandi, reasoned the rush cannot be managed because of the lack of gynaecologists in Kullu and Sundernagar hospitals as a result, the number of delivery cases in the Mandi Hospital have gone up.
As is the thumb rule, Health Minister Kaul Singh Thakur said, “I have initiated an inquiry into the matter to fix the responsibility and action will be taken accordingly.” He added that it was because of the election code of conduct, which barred the government from transferring employees, otherwise the doctors could be posted to Kullu and Sundernagar to manage the situation.
For the past two months, the Zonal Hospital, Kullu, which provides healthcare facilities to residents of Lahaul-Spiti, Kullu and parts of the Mandi area, and the Civil Hospital, Sundernagar, did not have gynaecologists, which increased the number of delivery cases referred to the Mandi Zonal Hospital.
The Zonal Hospital at Mandi was attached with Lal Bahadur Shastri Government Medical College at Ner Chowk to facilitate the people of the region with better medical facility. What is the result?
Can somebody ask the minister during the five years in power, did he never face any similar situation of inadequacy and how much did conditions improve after his intervention? It’s not just this particular case, newspaper columns are filled with such laxities every day in some part of the state or the other. There is an administrative hierarchy in every institution which is responsible for duties to be fulfilled. Does this line of administration and management ever work accordingly or are they trying a cover up? Taking the pay packet home, looking after their own near and dear ones, giving favours to higher-ups is all that they do.
After the incident, the health authorities have swung into action and provided extra beds in the hospital to accommodate expectant mothers, till the time another loss of life is reported, the next government’s health minister will lay the blame at the earlier incumbent’s doorstep and the vicious cycle goes back and forth.