Jul 24, 2009

In case of medical emergencies......

At 8 p.m on a quiet Sunday evening, My Bua(Father's Sister) in Chandigarh was engrossed in preparing material for the workshop she was to take the next morning. She went to the kitchen for a glass of water and saw a huge cobweb swaying gently on the kitchen wall. Irritated that her usually spic and span house had a cobweb and gently cursing the maid; she grabbed a broom and climbed on a table (look at her luck the table was right under the cobweb!). Not dissuaded at all by the small table and her totally insufficient height of 5 feet 2 inches she stood up on tip toe to swipe away the cobweb, promptly lost her footing, came tumbling down and dislocated and broke her wrist in three places.
Keeping her wits about her she ran down the stairs to the neighbors who were not at home. She ran to neighbors across the street who took one look at her arm and jumped in the car to take her to a hospital.They took her to one of the most prominent private hospitals in the city (their branches are all over the country) where the emergency ward attendant did not even deign to get up from his chair. “We don’t take in emergencies on Sunday evenings and anyway there are no doctors available” he told them. And he said all this in a very matter of a fact manner as if he was talking of tickets not being available for a film show and not of a medical emergency. WTF!
After a brief but pointless argument they drove away to another private hospital and were told that Head doctor saab is on holiday in Shimla. But why don’t you get admitted and he will have a look at your arm tomorrow evening when he returns. Meanwhile would you like a private or a semi private room? There was no offer of painkillers or temporary plasters from the other doctors.

By that time the arm was horribly swollen and the pain was excruciating.
Another private hospital and another refusal-we don’t take in emergencies on Sundays. (What do these hospitals think- emergencies take a weekly off too and don’t happen on Sundays?)
Resigned to their fate they went to the next possible option – Govt hospital sector 32. And what a surprise! There was a wheelchair waiting right outside as they drove up the emergency ward, The people inside took one look at her arm and escorted her to orthopedics dept without much fuss. And by the time the neighbors had filled in the forms and paid whatever little amount that had to be paid, x-ray was done and soon Bua’s arm was neatly encased in nice white plaster. Bua is a big fan of govt hospitals now. As she told me when I went visiting her from Delhi, they are dirty, they are overcrowded, the doctors are harassed and underpaid. But they think of you first and not how they can take advantage of your desperate situation to fleece you.
It got me thinking though – This was a emergency but not in a major life threatening way – What if someone is almost dying or bleeding to death and is still refused to be taken in by hospital after hospital even if the desperate relatives or friends are almost begging for medical help ?
Makes me scared even to think about it.


Post a Comment


Tall Girl in Japan Copyright © 2011 - |- Template created by O Pregador - |- Powered by Blogger Templates