PATNA: As a 9-year-old girl died at Patna AIIMS while her poor father completed the formalities for her treatment and an official posted at the counter refused to help him, 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.
“Everything has collapsed in Bihar, including law and order, education, and health. The latest incident of the girl’s death at Patna AIIMS vindicates our stand. There is no facility for the poor for treatment — they have been left to die, as happened in this case.”
He also took a dig at Union Minister of State for Health Ashwani Kumar Choubey, who last week reportedly suggested that patients from Bihar should be treated at Patna’s AIIMS and not in AIIMS at Delhi.
Mr Choubey’s alleged remark about Biharis “crowding” AIIMS at Delhi even for minor ailments had drawn criticism from opposition parties.
Lalu Prasad said: “Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and his deputy Sushil Kumar Modi have no time for genuine health issues. Both are busy showing their faces in the media, more or less on the lines of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.”
“Girls are dying for want of ‘bhat'(rice) in Jharkhand and lack of treatment in Bihar,” the RJD chief remarked while referring to the death of 11-year-old Santoshi Kumari in Simdega district in neighbouring Jharkhand due to starvation.