Established way back in 1960 and upgraded to a multi-speciality referral hospital in 2002 with the towering ideal of ensuring quality healthcare to the poor, RIMS is nothing short of a torture chamber for ailing patients and their anxious relatives.
As if lack of treatment and indifference of hospital attendants were not enough, junior doctors at this ostensible state-run heal hub are self-styled hooligans who threaten to boot out the sick if they fail to “behave (read question their authority)”.
Rinku and Umakant are just two among the dozens of unfortunate patients left unattended at medicine, TB and chest ward on the ground floor of RIMS.
The Telegraph was present at the hospital on Monday morning, when Umakant’s elderly mother Sulekha was pleading with half a dozen attendants for a bed and medicines for her son who was vomiting continuously.
“There are no beds. Treatment will start only when the doctor comes,” snapped a nurse on duty, who could not be identified because she wasn’t wearing the name tag.
The worried mother continues to beg, but her “noisy” act is cut short by a junior doctor. He struts out of his chamber, points a menacing finger at Sulekha and threatens: “Zyada halla karegi toh utha ke bahar phenk denge… tujhe aur tere bete ko (If you create a ruckus, will throw you and your son out).” The stupefied elderly woman could only stare at him blankly.
Ten minutes later, when this correspondent tried to talk to the same junior doctor, who identified himself as Mukesh Singh, he clammed up.
What is the nature of their ailments? Why are they not being accommodated when there are empty beds? Where are the doctors? Why is there a delay in treatment? All these questions remained unanswered.
Seeing this correspondent interact with patient’s family members, while The Telegraph photographer collected visual evidence of negligence, the junior doctor walked out of the chamber again — this time reinforced by four of his peers — and tried to manhandle them. One of the junior doctors also attempted to snatch away the identity card of this correspondent.
“Go and complain to whoever you want to. If you have any problem take him (Umakant) to another hospital. This is our territory. Come with the director if you want to enter this ward again,” hollered a junior doctor standing at the same place where his colleague had lectured on silence in hospital to a patient’s kin minutes ago.
“This is how things are here. We have been facing the situation since yesterday. No one listens to you. They do whatever they feel like doing. My son hasn’t eaten anything till now. They aren’t giving meals here. Where do we go?” Sulekha said.
When confronted, head of TB and chest ward K.K. Singh said patients on the ground floor “belonged” to the medicine ward. “So, I am not concerned here. You better talk to the medicine head,” he cut short the conversation.
Medicine head A.K. Mahto conveniently passed the buck. “Day-to-day operations are under the jurisdiction of Dr K.K. Singh, as he is the head of the entire ward,” Mahto said.
Director of RIMS Tulsi Mahto, who had a few days ago tried to convince a Medical Council of India team on how fit a candidate the hospital was for more seats, didn’t respond to repeated phone calls.
Have you ever been denied treatment at a state hospital?