Gumla hospital manager axed

Bereaved father had asked for ambulance

By Our special correspondent in Ranchi
  • Published 8.08.17
Farmer Karan Singh walks with his son's body on his back as his wife trails him near Gumla Sadar Hospital on Saturday. Telegraph picture

Ranchi, Aug. 7: Chief minister Raghubar Das today ordered Gumla sadar hospital manager be suspended following media reports that highlighted how a bereaved father had to carry the body of his eight-year-old son on his back and walk 50km to his village without an ambulance on Saturday afternoon.

The chief minister took strong exception to the fact that a bereaved parent had to hoist the body of his child on his back and walk home.

"Chief minister Raghubar Das ordered the suspension of the hospital manager in view of no ambulance being available after the death of a child in Gumla," says the communiqué from the CMO.

Contradicting the Gumla civil surgeon's claim yesterday, it now emerges the bereaved father, a small-time farmer named Karan Singh of Basia block, had asked Sadar hospital for an ambulance after his son died. Karan did not get it, he told the probe team.

Speaking to this reporter, Gumla DC Shrawan Sai said during the probe as asked for by the chief minister, the bereaved father had stated he had sought an ambulance.

"On the basis of the report, (Gumla hospital manager) Subhasini Tirkey's suspension is happening. Her suspension letter will be issued from state health department as she is on their rolls," the Gumla DC said.

The tragedy would have stayed buried had a local reporter not clicked the picture of Karan carrying his son's body, covered with a gamchha, on his back, with his wife Devaki trailing behind. The picture went viral on social media on Saturday with local television channels playing it up yesterday, prompting Das to seek a probe report from the Gumla administration in 24 hours.

Civil surgeon Dr J.P. Sanga (not Singh as reported) today said he wasn't aware about the findings of the report but maintained an ambulance could have been easily been given to the farmer had one been sought. The civil surgeon also reiterated that prima facie there was no negligence on the hospital's part.

Yesterday, Dr Sanga had claimed the farmer's son Suman, who was suffering from jaundice and brain malaria, had not been to any referral hospital before.

However, today, he conceded the farmer had first taken his child to Sisai referral hospital, 25km from Basia, from where the case was referred to Gumla Sadar Hospital, another 25km.

"Sisai referral hospital today mentioned the parents had shown some medical tests of the boy that showed he was extremely critical with slim chances of survival. Around 2.5gm blood was found in his (Suman's) body. Usually, it should be 12-13gm. They reported he was unconscious but convulsive."