“Today I witnessed our country’s health services quite closely. I was travelling from my village Palaula to my uncle’s village, Fatehpur. These two small villages came under Amroha district of Uttar Pradesh and were separated by a distance of 1.5 km only.
On the way I saw a gathering of people on both sides of the road, I stopped and came closer, an accident took place between a Nano car and a bike rider. The person in the Nano car was attended by his relatives, he had injuries on his head, the bike rider was unattended and people, as usual, stood still without offering help.
It was 7:51am in the morning and I dialled 108 for emergency ambulance service. The person on the other side talked in a professional manner and informed that the ambulance has been dispatched. The nearest government hospital, Joya, was 4km far from the place of the accident. The ambulance arrived after 6 minutes. In the meanwhile I tried to attend the severely injured victim, I cleaned the blood in his mouth, he was breathing and was also responding to me.
I asked the Paramedic to clean his breathing way so that he could breathe properly but I saw no treatment, nothing being performed on him in the ambulance. The ambulance reached the Government hospital, the driver shouted that it was a case of emergency, A peon ran towards us.
I was shocked at the dismal condition of the emergency ward, the doctor’s absence made it worse. A doctor arrived after 4 minutes, he laid down the victim and did a cursory checkup, I kept asking the doctor to provide oxygen to the man but unfortunately, there are some places where your voice is not heard, even when you are yelling. Sadly, a government hospital is one of those places. The hardly injured leg and face of the injured person were bandaged, but he was not provided any life-saving treatment, which he was in dire need of. After such pathetic treatment, the ubiquitous announcement of taking the victim to a Private Hospital was announced.
A private ambulance was standing outside and by now 15 important minutes elapsed, or were wasted I should say. In the meantime, I informed the victims relatives and also one of his friends who immediately reached to the hospital.
I saw three government ambulances and asked whether these can not take a person to a Private hospital. I was informed that government ambulances can only take an injured person to a government hospital or to a big government hospital on being referred from a smaller one.
By now, the injured person was carried in a private ambulance to a big private hospital in Muradabad. I had some 2 or 3 thousand rupees in my pocket, which I gave to the victim’s friend because I knew how important money is when you are in a private hospital.
Later, I got a call from the victim’s friend, who told me that his friend was no more. I got to know that the victim was from a nearby village and was a teacher. My heart was broken with this news and it kept iterating that the victim could have been saved in those fifteen minutes. My heart was yelling at me, that man, that teacher could have been saved, if he were provided with adequate life-saving treatment.
I am disheartened and sad that our country’s government hospitals have a dearth of professional and able doctors. I remember the story of those two doctors girls I interviewed of Hyderabad. They saved a severely injured man who was considered dead. One of them later told me, “80% of the accident victims can be saved, if they are brought at the right time and are given right treatment”.
The fault is not only in our country’s health care services but it is our too, we are responsible for this situation in one way or the other.
This is not an institutional problem but a social evil, which has taken so many lives and unfortunately will continue to do so.”