A horrendous case of callous neglect on the part of the medical staff of Sub District Hospital Bani in Kathua district has come to light which should put the heads of all at the Health Department to shame. Nanao Devi of Barmotta village walked all night 20 kilometres on foot and with labour pain to reach Sub District Hospital at Bani in the wee hours to deliver the baby. No functionary of the Sub District Hospital was visible. They had all deserted the office of duty and were enjoying sound sleep in the warmth of their beds. The woman in acute labour pain cried and cried. Her male attendant knocked fiercely at the doors of the quarters in which the hospital staff resides and there was no reply from anybody.
In utter desperation and in great pain and agony the poor Nanao Devi delivered a male infant on the floor of the veranda of the hospital at about 5 AM, two hours after arriving in the hospital. Then as the morning appeared a maid of the hospital appeared from somewhere and on seeing the woman having delivered a baby on the floor took some elementary measures of caring for the woman.
Why did the entire staff leave the hospital at night to be comfortably sleeping in their houses? What are the rules governing attending the patients at night and at odd hours? Why not a single functionary was available in the emergency ward? Who was responsible if the life of the mother or the baby was imperilled? Whose duty is it to ensure that minimum medical staff is available to attend emergency patients in odd hours?
Local people have protested when they came to know about the story. The local MLA has protested and demanded that enquiry should be held in the case and the culprits should be brought to book. Will the Health Department mandarins take note of this case and ensure that such callous neglect of duty by its functionaries does not happen again?