The Telegraph
Wednesday , March 5 , 2014
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House without health wheels

Ranchi, March 4: Temper, stress and scuffles inside the Assembly are all part of the day’s work, but MLAs this afternoon found out the hard way that healthcare is scarce in Jharkhand’s power House.

During Zero Hour around 12.30pm, when BJP MLA of Potka Menaka Sardar felt giddy, her colleagues discovered there was no lady doctor to assist her and no ambulance to ferry her from the Assembly in Dhurwa to RIMS in Bariatu, a 15km drive.

As fellow MLAs helped Sardar out of the House, she vomited.

Earlier, the dispensary had one lady doctor with the House in session, but this time, it didn’t. One of the three male medicos took Sardar’s pressure, which was 110/70.

Facing panic-stricken MLAs and a slumping Sardar, health minister Rajendra Prasad Singh offered the use of his official car for the patient’s transport to RIMS.

HRD minister Geetashree Oraon of the Congress, JD(U) MLA Sudha Choudhary and BJP MLA Vimla Pradhan helped Sardar get into Singh’s car. Choudhary and Pradhan got inside with Sardar.

As Sardar was leaving, chief minister Hemant Soren arrived at the spot to wish her a speedy recovery.

An ambulance usually accompanies the chief minister’s carcade, but Hemant was not around when Sardar fell ill.

Leader of Opposition and former chief minister Arjun Munda, also Sardar’s party colleague, supervised her transport to the Bariatu hospital, followed her in his vehicle and personally spoke to doctors.

“We kept her under close observation and did pathological and clinical tests. Our doctors will take decisions based on reports,” RIMS director Tulsi Mahto said.

Back in the House, health minister Singh faced a barrage of questions on poor medical amenities inside the Assembly. Initially, he argued three doctors were available and the Assembly dispensary was equipped for first-aid.

But, MLAs cutting across party lines weren’t mollified.

Speaker Shashank Shekhar Bhokta tried to soothe tempers. Promising to buy an ambulance for the Assembly dispensary, he said: “MLAs give away ambulances from welfare funds. Ironically, the Assembly doesn’t have one for them.”

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