Thursday, November 08, 2007

Government General Hospital - II (On the day of surgery)

Finally Manjula's surgery happened. It happened on Tuesday, Nov 6 2007. That is more than 2.5 months after she was admitted. Now she is in the ICU. The operation theatre was on the 7th floor. While we were waiting outside the operation theatre (sitting on the steps), and during the surgery we were given Manjula's blood sample and were asked to take it to a testing lab in a different building and get a report. It seems this facility is available in the fifth floor of the same building, but there they told us that this will not be done here and hence we had to go to that different building only. This happened the first time were asked for a blood test, and the second time, the people doing the surgery again asked us to go to the fifth floor. We told them they were not doing the test, and they responded "Tell them the HOD wants it done". This was absolutely stupid. If they themselves dont have any coordination with their colleagues, how will they listen to us. The second time too a blood test was refused in the 5th floor, and we had to go to the different building. The third time we jut directly went to the different building. This was not the case just with us. An other patient was also being operated upon, and their relatives also had to go thrice to get a blood test in that different building. I have a doubt if getting a blood test during the surgery is the responsibility of the helpers during the surgery and they conveniently push it on to the patients' relatives.
And then the question of blood requirement during the surgery. We were not informed about that before the surgery. But in the middle of the surgery a lady comes out of the operation theatre and asks us about the blood, and whether we have the required number of donors. We told her we were not told about this at all. She asked us "How is this possible?", I was swearing within myself. I wanted to say, "Hey that is a question we should be asking". But then she said that it was ok, we just have to donate some blood to the blood bank within a week of the surgery, and they also said that it was not mandatory. So that was not much of a problem, though I wonder why we werent informed about it before hand.

After we got them the xerox copies of the blood donation request forms, the lady came back and asked for 50 rupees saying they had to give this for blood donation. Just imagine this. In the middle of the surgery the helpers to the surgery come out and ask for 50 rupees. How can they think of this fifty rupees when the surgery is going on. We, of course, had to pay this amount.

And now an even more ridiculous thing. For this blood request they had to place a request to the blood bank. And for that request they have a request form. They had two forms in hand, which was sufficient for two patients, but we were given the forms asking us to take copies since they had run out of forms. I thought this was an outrageous thing. Just asking people to take xerox of the forms that they are supposed to print and use within the hospital. I could have even understood it to an extent, if they had asked for just one copy. Both of us (me and the other patient's relative) had to get 20 copies each. Why should we spend money and get copies for their use with some other patients. And the way they do it is really cheap. They understand very well, that if you come out of the operation theatre in the middle of a surgery and ask for something, the relatives will not refuse. They could have even asked for ice creams. We wouldnt have had an option.

After the surgery was done, we shifted her to the ICU. Where four people asked us for money. 50 rupees each. They are people who work in the ICU and hence they were asking us money. I tried to explain them that money was not the concern for me and it was more the principle that was important. I asked them why they were asking money for something that they had to do anyway. They did not have an answer. Then I pointed out only very poor people come to the GH and hence it was not fair on their part to ask money for them. Then they said that they dont ask money from poor people. I was pleasantly surprised, and before I could be a little happy, they followed up. "They themselves give it to us, sir". I was irritated. Prabha who was with me, pointed out that everywhere in the GH it has been written that bribes should not be taken and complaint numbers were given. Then they said, yes sir, but please keep it a secret. We eventually did give them the 200 rupees they asked for, for fear of what they would do (or not do) to Manjula if we refused. There is more, we still have to give money to the people at the ward where Manjula had been staying for the past 2.5 months. They will find us the next time we go to the GH. And when she is moved to the post operative ward, we will again have to shell out some money. But we have some ideas ...

1 comment:

purdafash said... will be interested in giving space to your problems. Please do share your story on the website so that action can be taken against such govt hospitals. Purdafash will bring together common ppl and ngos n civil society to find solutions for them.