| An attendant holds up a pharmacy card as a mother lies near her baby at the Rupnath Brahma Civil Hospital in Kokrajhar on Monday. Telegraph picture |
Kokrajhar, May 14: Rupnath Brahma Civil Hospital, that is battling anomaly charges in implementation of maternity health schemes, today came up with a desperate quick fix in the form of a pharmacy card that would allow patients to pick up medicines not available at the hospital from a shop nearby, but without any charges.
“The pharmacy card was distributed to the patients at the maternity ward in case some medicine or drugs are not available with us,” said the hospital staff.
The card is a frantic measure taken by hospital authorities two days after an impoverished couple were forced to sell their newborn baby boy to a childless couple to pay hospital expenses.
A doctor at the hospital, Jaynal Abedin, forced the patients to buy medicines from a private pharmacy, with the bill running to over Rs 7,400, on the premise that the necessary pills were not available in hospital stock.
The incident raised a storm and spilled the ugly truths of how the hospital runs, especially when the Assam government has been implementing numerous healthcare schemes to ensure institutional delivery and arrest child and maternity mortality rates.
The couple got back their baby back on Mother’s Day yesterday after the media splashed the news of this unfortunate exchange. Help has been pouring in for the hapless parents ever since the incident was reported.
While police have begun investigating the matter, senior state programme manager of the National Rural Health Mission, Dr P.N. Bora, today visited the hospital to take stock of the situation.
Bora had a meeting with the joint director, Kokrajhar, Binapani Basumatary, hospital superintendent A.K. Brahma and other district health officials and officials from the district NRHM to get first hand information about the incident.
He also met the parents of the child who was given away in exchange of money.
“We have taken note of the incident. The health minister has taken the matter seriously and is taking all measures. We have already filed a case on the incident and investigation has begun,” Bora said.
There should not be any shortage of drugs and other accessories in the hospital, he added.
The BTC executive member in-charge of health and family welfare, Reoreoa Narzihary, also visited the hospital today.
“We have begun investigating into the anomalies and action will be taken against those found guilty,” he said.