The report on the health of Government healthcare.
The bottom line is, if you don’t know anyone to pull some influential strings or know someone who knows someone who has a relative who knows someone to pull strings, your life is worthless.
Was this the GREAT Indian dream on the stroke of midnight in 1947?
I know there are countless stories on the Indian healthcare system, or the lack thereof. But this medium is the only hope I found to create a dent; to make someone listen. To have accountability and responsibility towards a duty.
This is an account of a collaborative effort of friends and family saving a kid from dying. Ravi (name changed for privacy). He is a 20-year-old kid who is fine, focused, and fit, but he had the misfortune of falling sick in New Delhi. Ravi was taken to the local hospital, where a kidney inflammation was misdiagnosed as appendicitis. His family, in a state of helplessness, reached out to Ravi’s mentor. He was transferred to Ganga Ram, and this dismayed family, with the aid of his mentor, managed to secure a bed at the hospital with a proper diagnosis. Ravi’s inflamed kidney ruptured, and was leaking urine internally causing severe infection spreading through his organs. That wasn’t serious enough, apparently. He was made to vacate the bed in the middle of the night because it was needed for other “Emergency patients.” The family roamed the city at 3AM with Ravi in an ambulance; they went from hospital to hospital till they made it to AIIMS.
Aaaah the mecca of Indian healthcare– the best medical college in the country, the best doctors, the best departments. Ravi was in good hands. But, only if those capable hands were available. As always, AIIMS was full of severely ill people with the bacteria levels sky rocketing in the atmosphere. There was no one to look at this child lying on a stretcher, crying in pain.
Hello common man, child of this country, this is your journey in illustrious India, if you don’t have a my baap, nobody cares. His family was told, ‘we have given him an injection, he is out of danger. We cannot do anything more for him here, good luck with another hospital.’
Are you kidding? You are THE hospital. You are AIIMS. Forget that, you are what I am paying tax for to avail service when in need. This IS my need! Go elsewhere?
And so they went, across the street, to Safdarjung Hospital. It was over 12 hours by now, and he was still looking to get admitted in a hospital. With faith still instilled, the family thought, this hospital will do what is needed. By now Ravi’s friends had come into action. While this kid, bent over, clutched his side in pain, his mentor and friends made calls. Social media statuses of “if you know anyone…” went up, friends called friends, who called families. Finally, ONE made a connect, and ta da! Jugaad!!
He was admitted to the hospital and had a bed. But that doesn’t mean anything, does it? The nurses and the doctors, immune to humanity, push the kid like a government file from department to department. No explanations, no interest in the case, almost ducking taking it on. After great persuasion, he was sent for tests and treated. Post the procedure, pipes hanging out of his body, he was told to check into a hotel close by as all he needed was three days in this state, before the tubes were to be removed. ‘We need the bed for more urgent cases.’ No option, he did what he was told. Under zero post-op care, those days in the hotel were tough.
Fast forward to present day, he has recovered, not only physically, but also from the trauma of this experience. His family has forgotten the horror of helplessness. Resilience of an Indian citizen is not always a good thing. We forget, and then we don’t care to help change things, as we become numb to an upset system when the moment passes.
But it is upsetting. And dammit, we have to change. This is New Delhi- The CAPITAL of a glorious nation on the path to development and greatness. All this sentiment goes to the toilet when you visit a government run health center. Are you listening? Anyone?