On September 23, Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched a major healthcare scheme, Ayushman Bharat —Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojna, which has been nicknamed as Modicare from Ranchi like famous Obamacare in the US. But Bhaktu Ravidas, a resident of Jamshedpur, 128 kms from Ranchi, had no idea that it would cause the death of his mother.
On Monday around 7 o’clock, the next morning of the launch of Ayushman Bharat, Ravidas reached AGM Hospital with his mother, Ritu Devi, an eighty-year-old lady for the treatment of diarrhoea.
But PK Sahu, the doctor on duty at AGM hospital, sent Ravidas to make Ayushman Bharat card to begin the treatment. Ravidas insisted that since his mother was having diarrhoea for 10 days, it would be better if the treatment began while he made the card. But the doctor would have none of it and asked Ravidas to get blood and urine tests of the patient also done.
Ravidas left his mother alone and went to make the card. It took him a gruelling 6 hours to get the Ayushman Bharat card made, and when he returned to the hospital, her mother had already breathed her last.
A livid and agitated Ravidas tore the card. Weeping uncontrollably, he said that it was the Ayushman Bharat which took the life of his mother.
Deputy Superintendent of AGM Hospital, Dr Nakul Choudhury said that strict action would be taken against the doctor. He said when a patient reaches the hospital, he or she should be treated first and documents can be made later. It is sheer dereliction of duty on the part of doctor as an elder woman died for lack of care.
The story has been reported at all the vernacular media’s Jamshedpur edition on September 25 including Dainik Bhaskar. However, it did not make it into any major national newspapers.
Jharkhand’s former chief minister and Jharkhand Mukhti Morcha (JMM) leader Hemant Soren, however, tweeted the incident, with the pictures of vernacular media reports.
According to National Health Profile, 2018, Jharkhand has third poor doctor: population ration (1:18518) after Bihar and Uttar Pradesh in India. While as per recommendation it should be 1:1000. But it seems it is not only the manpower and infrastructures Modi government should make available to the health and wellness centers (the new names defined for government hospitals) but it is also the responsibility of government to inculcate sensitivity among doctors on how to take care of patients.