Clinic consultation

Bihar Dalit woman slammed after kidneys removed in private clinic

Patna: A poor Dalit woman in her early 30s is fighting for her life after both her kidneys were reportedly removed at a private nursing home in Muzaffarpur district on September 3, as Bihar’s Deputy Chief Minister Tejashwi Yadav warned all primary health centers, district hospitals and medical colleges to improve. their services or face legal action.

Sunita Devi, a mother of two from Mathurapur village, under Sakra block, was rushed to Subhakant clinic earlier this month due to stomach pains. After examining her and performing an ultrasound, the doctors asked the family to admit her immediately for an operation to remove the uterus.

However, Sunita’s body swelled up and she complained of extreme discomfort and weakness after the operation on September 3. Sensing problems, a doctor at the clinic advised her husband Aklu Ram to take her to Patna for better treatment.

“A day after the operation, her body swelled up and she developed other health problems. A doctor advised us to rush her to Patna for better treatment. She was transferred to a private hospital in Patna in a vehicle provided by the clinic,” Ram told Newsclick from Muzaffarpur.

However, the family was in shock 24 hours later when they admitted Sunita to Patna Medical College and Hospital (PMCH) after the private hospital ‘refused to treat her’ and asked them to ‘see a government hospital “. “We took her to Patna Medical College and Hospital, where doctors carried out tests and ultrasounds and informed us that both of her kidneys were missing. We were shocked,” Ram added.

According to Ram, the PMCH doctors asked him to take Sunita to a nephrology hospital for treatment. Thereafter, he returned to his village and consulted SKMCH and Sadar Hospital based in Muzaffarpur, but without any help.

Ram, a landless farm worker, said Sunita’s condition was rapidly deteriorating. “Her body is swollen and she is unable to digest food. His condition is critical. »

Mentioning the expenses he had to incur for the treatment, Ram said, “First I deposited Rs 30,000 in the clinic for the operation and later Rs 20,000 in the private hospital in Patna for the treatment. I took out a loan from a high interest pawnbroker to save my wife’s life.

Sunita’s mother, Terri Devi, filed an FIR against the clinic’s doctors, including owner Pawan Kumar, at Bariyarpur Police Station. Police station officer Rajesh Kumar told Newsclick that the FIR was filed under the Human Organ and Tissue Transplantation Act 1994 and the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes Act 1989 (atrocity prevention). The complaint was forwarded to Sakra police station for further action.

Muzaffarpur Civil Surgeon, UC Sharma, said he had ordered Sakra’s health official to investigate the allegation and verify the clinic’s registration and the credentials of the doctors involved in the operation.

According to Kumar, the clinic has neither its registration number nor the degrees of its doctors posted on a board. Locals alleged that the clinic was run by self-appointed doctors. Doctors are on the run and the clinic is closed, police said.

Sunita’s horrific experience exposed the ground reality of basic health care in rural Bihar. Contrary to state government claims, health infrastructure remains poor with thousands of mostly poor and marginalized patients visiting DPOs and returning untreated due to unavailability of doctors and ultrasound and X-rays, etc.

According to local dailies, in the last month since the formation of the new Mahagathbandhan government, hundreds of patients who have been queuing for hours at Sadar hospitals in different districts have had to come back without even a basic checkup as the doctors were absent. Similarly, several seriously ill patients could not be hospitalized either due to the unavailability of medical personnel or a lack of equipment.

Most primary or community health centers are not functioning and even district hospitals are facing a shortage of doctors and basic drugs.

The fact was highlighted by the report of the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) presented to the Assembly in March, which stated that government hospitals, mainly in the districts, were under resourced and understaffed. ‘work. The number of doctors, nurses and other paramedical staff is also significantly lower.

The CAG report also revealed the state’s lack of preparedness for the first wave of the pandemic in 2020. It was not met,” the report said.

According to the report, there is a shortage of beds in hospitals ranging from 52% to 92%. The number of beds has not been raised to the authorized level even after a decade.

A CAG audit of hospitals in Biharsharif, Hajipur, Jehanabad, Madhepura and Patna districts from 2014-15 to 2019-20 showed that they barely provide patients with basic healthcare facilities. To their surprise, the audit team found street dogs, pigs and open sewers on hospital premises.