For a two hour-long surgery, Rakesh Ram, a 35-year-old man, has been made to bear acute pain for at least 26 days. And still there’s no relief in sight for him.
Admitted to Patna Medical College and Hospital (PMCH) with a fractured leg on April 17, Rakesh is still awaiting a final surgery, which will initiate the healing process. On Sunday evening, he was transferred to the ward of Dr A.K. Manav with the promise of an “early” surgery.
“Rakesh was admitted to PMCH on the evening of April 17 with a thigh bone fracture after he slipped on the stairs of Bankipore bus depot in Patna. He was assigned to bed number 46 at the new TV traction ward in the orthopaedics department. The doctors attending to him inserted an iron rod in his leg on the same night and gave the date of April 20 for the final operation when a plate would be place inside his leg,” said Akhilesh Ram, brother of Rakesh.
Akhilesh added: “As I stay in Chhapra and am a driver, it was a little difficult for me to arrange for the operation expenses, amounting to over Rs 5,000. I arranged the money and reached PMCH on the scheduled day around 3pm but the doctor told me that it was too late to start the operation and posted the surgery to next Thursday, April 26.”
According to Dr Amulya Kumar Singh, orthopaedic consultant in Patna, insertion of rod is just an initial treatment done to prevent misplacement of fractured bones and contraction of muscles. “Plating or nailing should be done as soon as possible. In case, the required treatment is not provided within three weeks, the regeneration capacity of bone reduces and then bone grafting is needed. Bone grafting is the process of replacing the fractured bone with an extra bone from some other part of the body,” said Dr Amulya.
Rakesh’s operation was postponed over the next three weeks. “Dr Bharat kept postponing my brother’s operation claiming there was too much rush and backlog of pending operations. My brother was even taken to the operation theatre on May 10 but the doctor sent him back citing anaesthesia problem. Dr Bharat said the operation would be performed the next week but no date has been given yet,” said Akhilesh.
PMCH authorities claimed helplessness on account of shortage of operation theatres. “Dr Bharat Singh can perform surgeries only once a week. If a patient misses one appointment for an operation, his/her turn would obviously come a week later,” said Dr O.P. Chaudhary, superintendent of PMCH.
Rakesh, who is in acute pain, is given painkillers from time to time. His family from Chhapra is staying at a lodge near the hospital for the past one month. “The overall expenses of food and lodging have gone up to Rs 7,000. We came to PMCH thinking we would get cheap treatment but looking at the overall expenses and the inhuman treatment of my brother, I believe it would have been better if we had taken him to a private hospital,” said Akhilesh. Dr Amulya claimed the expenses on treatment of fractured thigh bones in private hospitals ranges from Rs 2,000 to Rs 25,000.