The wife of a Covid patient, who succumbed in a private hospital in Patna on May 8, has alleged that a doctor there had molested her, while the hospital administration deliberately switched off the oxygen supply in the ICU, to force people to buy oxygen cylinders, and this caused her husband’s death.
Sharing her plight, the woman said that the entire family, living in Noida, came to Bhagalpur to celebrate Holi, and decided to stay back as Covid cases began increasing across the country.
“On April 9, the health of my husband Raushan Chandra deteriorated and we conducted his RT-PCR test which came negative. As his health condition was not improving, we got him admitted to a private hospital in Bhagalpur. He underwent RT-PCR tests twice again which came negative. As doctors were not attending to him properly, we consulted a doctor in Noida. During video chat, he suggested my husband undergo a CT-scan of his chest. When we did the CT-scan, 60 per cent infections were found in his lung. Soon after the report, we consulted the doctors of the hospital, who referred him to a hospital in Mayaganj in Bhagalpur for better treatment.
“My husband was admitted in ICU of the hospital in Mayaganj. He was not in a position to interact with anyone. He was on oxygen support in ICU and only communicated through signals. Whenever he made a missed call, it was his way of informing us whenever he wanted something,” she said.
The woman also claimed that the situation was extremely shocking in the ICU as the staff did not even change the bed sheet, and patients forced to stay on their beds soiled with urine and stools. “My husband also stayed there for 6 to 7 hours and they neither changed the bedcover nor allow us to change it,” she said.
“One day, his health deteriorated and he informed me through a missed call, and when I forcibly entered the ICU, I found that the pipe of the oxygen mask was not attached. I shouted for help, then doctors came and connected the pipe with a mask. That incident created fear in my husband’s mind. When I complained to a senior doctor, he threatened me to tear my eyes out. A ward boy named Jyoti Kumar snatched my dupatta in front of my husband in the ICU and put his hand in my hip,” she said.
“When I was sitting on a bench in the corridor outside the ICU, Jyoti came and made inappropriate remarks,” she said.
The woman also said as her husband’s health did not improve, she managed to obtain a Remdesvir injection at a higher price and gave it to the doctor, but he only injected half and kept the other half with himself.
“When I complained that it was a life-saving drug and not easy to obtain apart from its high cost, that doctor and other medical staff threatened me with dire consequences. I became silent as I was scared that they might kill my husband,” she said.
She said that they eventually decided to take him away from that Mayaganj hospital, and had contacted several hospitals in Noida but were unable to find a bed there.
“Then, we decided to take him to Rajeshwar hospital in Patna and admitted him in the ICU on April 26. However, doctors of the hospital did not even visit the ICU. A doctor named Akhilesh Kumar inappropriately touched me several times during his visit to the ICU. I did not dare to shout as I suspected that they might do ‘wrong treatment’ of my husband,” she said.
The woman alleged that the hospital administration deliberately stopped the oxygen supply of the ICU in a bid to force patients to purchase oxygen cylinders privately at high prices.
“The doctors gave us an excuse about limited oxygen supply leading to non-regular supply in the ICU. Hence, we purchased an oxygen cylinder for him in case of an emergency. The hospital administration regularly stops oxygen supply in the ICU. This practice has taken the life of my husband on May 8,” she said.
“I don’t know where I should go to complain against the hospitals of Bhagalpur and Patna. I request Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and (state) Health Minister Mangal Pandey to take cognizance of wrongdoing with me and my husband. I also appeal to the Bihar, Delhi and national women commissions to investigate,” she said.