Dead Bihar MLA’s PA reveals ugly truth of hospitals in Bihar

Former Bihar education minister Mewalal Chaudhary's demise has revealed some ugly truth about Bihar's health care system especially now during COVID-19.

Patna: After the death of former Bihar education minister Mewalal Chaudhary, his personal assistant has made sensational revelations about the sorry state of health infrastructure in the state.

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After the demise of Mewalal Chaudhary, Chief Minister Nitish Kumar said that it was a personal loss to him but no one knew how he struggled to get a test report and admission in hospital in his native district Munger and state capital Patna. A high profile MLA of the ruling party was forced to move from pillar to post for his treatment, tells a story of the condition of health infrastructure in the state.

Subham Singh, the Personal Assistant (PA) of Mewalal Chaudhary, who was with him till his last breath, shared his plight before reporters.

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“My Sir (Mewalal Chaudhary) did not get proper treatment. He fought for his life and eventually left us,” Singh said.

“He was suffering from fever for the last few days with apprehension that he might be infected with Covid-19. Hence, he underwent RT-PCR test on April 12 and waited for the report for 3 days. His health deteriorated on April 15, we urged doctors to give the RT-PCR test report but got none. As he was having breathing problems, we managed to arrange an oxygen cylinder for him and took him to Patna. He was on oxygen during the entire journey from Munger to Patna. We also gave him ginger to chew in the SUV,” Singh said.

“When we reached Patna in the night around 12.30 am (April 16), we took him to his official residence. He was on oxygen for the entire night. In the morning, we took him to Indira Gandhi Institute of Medical Sciences (IGIMS) Patna. The doctors there conducted a rapid antigen test which turned negative. We told the hospital administration about him having breathing problems and fever but they refused to admit him in the hospital. Mewalal Ji himself requested the doctors to conduct RT-PCR test but doctors said that it will take a few days to get the report. The doctors said that they would be unable to admit him in hospital until report is corona positive. The former minister used all his resources to get a bed inside IGIMS but in vain. Doctors did not listen to him,” Singh said.

“Our sir told us to admit him in Paras hospital but the hospital administration refused to admit him. They gave excuses of unavailability of beds in hospital. He eventually called Patna district magistrate Chandrashekhar Singh and requested him to arrange a bed in Paras hospital, who called the hospital administration to give him a bed,” Subham said.

“When doctors of Paras hospital conducted CT-scan of his chest, severe corona infection was detected. The doctors recommended him to be admitted immediately in the ICU. As there was not a single bed available in ICU or in the general ward, the hospital administration somehow managed a bed for him in emergency ward. We waited for several hours to get a bed in the ICU. Till the time, he was only on oxygen and saline. Later around 11 p.m. on April 16, the hospital administration gave him a bed in the ICU and the proper treatment could start,” Singh said.

“He was in the ICU from 11 p.m. on April 16 to April 18 until his doctors informed us that his lung was not functioning well. Hence, he should be shifted to the ventilator. We completed the paper work in the night of April 18 and he was shifted on a ventilator. The doctors then informed us that he lost his life at 4.30 a.m.,” Singh added.

The RT-PCR test report conducted in Munger came on the night of April 16.

“If a sitting MLA of the ruling party who is close to the chief minister had not been given treatment in hospitals, what would happen to common patients in Bihar,” Singh said.

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