The Telegraph
Wednesday , September 5 , 2012
Since 1st March, 1999

Paralysed patient threatens self-immolation

Jorhat, Sept. 4: A paralysis patient, who has alleged wrong treatment at Jorhat Medical College and Hospital, today threatened self-immolation if chief minister Tarun Gogoi’s assurance to fulfil his demands were not met within 10 days.

Amrit Bhardwaz is demanding compensation from the government, a job for his wife and appointment of a neurosurgeon at the JMCH. According to the Gauhati Medical College and Hospital, he has become more than 50 per cent disabled.

Bhardwaz, 32, a resident of Dhapkota Barsatra under Pulibor police station on the outskirts of this town, told reporters here today that he had become partially disabled because of “wrong treatment” by the medical staff at the JMCH in April last year that had paralysed the right side of his body.

He was brought to the hospital after he met with an accident on the road while he was returning home from the town. His motorbike was hit from behind by a heavy vehicle. Bhardwaz said he had met Gogoi in Guwahati on August 30 and had submitted a memorandum of demands to him. He said the chief minister had said his demands would be considered within 10 days.

“I was the only bread earner in a joint family of 10 members, including my wife, a three-year-old girl, the families of my two brothers and my aged parents. One of my bothers is mentally unsound and now my disability makes me completely helpless. I have incurred huge debts for undergoing medical treatment,” he said.

Bhardwaz, who used to supply sand gravels, bricks and stones, said if Gogoi did not fulfil his demands within 10 days from the date of submission of the memorandum, he would be left with no option other than self-immolation as the family was facing great difficulties to make both ends meet. “I have sold my mini truck but still have to repay a huge amount to my well-wishers who have given me money for my medical treatment,” he added. Accusing the JMCH authorities for his plight, he said he had became senseless after the accident and was brought to the the hospital by police, but there was no proper doctor to attend him.

Bhardwaz said his family members later found out that the person who attended him was a diploma holder of a three-year rural practitioner course.

He said the person on duty, who he alleged was not a full-fledged doctor, asked his family members to take him home, saying the injury on his head was a minor one and for which he had been given injections.

The next day, when Bhardwaz could not move the right side of his body, he was admitted to a local private hospital where doctors said he had suffered severe internal head injury (haemorrhage) and his condition was critical. He was told that the JMCH should have immediately referred him to hospitals outside Jorhat for advanced treatment by a neurologist. He was then immediately shifted to Dibrugarh and stayed in the ICU of a private hospital for 11 days.

Bhardwaz said he had no money to move court for the “wrong treatment or negligence” at the JMCH that had ruined his life.

Bhardwaz said over the past year he has sent memoranda, seeking justice and compensation, to the chief minister, to health minister Himanta Biswa Sarma, President Pratibha Patil, UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi and PCC president Bhubaneshwar Kalita, but had not got any response. He then met the chief minister in person last week.