In yet another case of medical apathy, a man was forced to carry his wife’s body on a motorcycle to reach his home for her last rites after being allegedly denied a mortuary van at a government hospital in Bihar’s Purnia district, news agency ANI reported. 60-year-old Shankar Sah, a resident of Ranibari village, was forced to proceed this way as he was unable to afford a private ambulance.
“After the death of my wife I was told to take away the body and when I requested the medical staff on duty for a vehicle to carry it back to my village, they told me to arrange for it on my own,” said Sah, whose 50-year-old wife Susheela Devi died of illness at the Purnia Sadar Hospital on Friday.
Sah failed to get any help from hospital authorities despite all his efforts and, therefore, he and his 32-year-old son were forced to place Susheela’s body on a motorcycle to transport it to their village home. Both father and son work as wage labourers in Punjab.
“I approached the driver of an ambulance, who demanded Rs. 1,500 which I could not afford,” Sah said, pointing his helplessness. Susheela, who was suffering from a heart disease as well as Tuberculosis, was admitted to hospital after falling sick.
Reacting on the incident, Purnia civil surgeon MM Wasim said, “It is a very unfortunate incident but no mortuary van is available at the Sadar Hospital, at present, as the one it had is not functional. So, everyone has to arrange one on his own.” Meanwhile, District Magistrate Pankaj Kumar Pal said he had already ordered a probe into the matter.
The latest incident comes just a day after footage of a destitute woman’s body being carried in a garbage cart to hospital in Muzaffarpur for post-mortem examination, triggered an outrage and prompted the district authorities to launch an inquiry.