A four-year-old girl in a critical condition was taken to the Ratlam government hospital, about 20 km from her village of Nandleta, on a motorcycle due to unavailablity of an ambulance. She died soon after arriving at the district hospital.
The district administration has ordered an inquiry into the incident, even as a video surfaced showing the parents riding pillion on the bike, the father carrying the girl in his arms, and the mother holding the IV bottle.
Jeeja was suffering from pneumonia when her parents admitted her to a government hospital in Sailana on Monday evening. When her condition did not improve, doctors asked her to be shifted to the district hospital in Ratlam. However, her father Ghanashyam Nath said, he was told that no ambulance was available.
Nath then called a friend who had a bike, and he drove them to Ratlam on Tuesday evening. Nath and his wife rode pillion with their daughter, with the wife holding the IV fluid bottle connected to the child’s hand. The girl died soon after arriving at the hospital. However, they could not get a hearse to take the body home, and had to take her back again on the motorbike.
“The girl was suffering from acute pneumonia. She died as she was not brought to the hospital in time. Treatment was started immediately, but she could not be saved,” said Dr R C Damor, in-charge of Government Children’s Hospital, Ratlam. As for unavailability of ambulance at Sailana, he said he had no information.
Ratlam collector Somesh Mishra told The Indian Express that the ambulance at the Sailana hospital had not been working for two-three months, but the contractor did not inform doctors. He said there was no delay at the district hospital.
Mishra said he had ordered two inquiries, one to probe medical negligence and another by the additional district magistrate to look into infrastructure. He said that Friday being Holi, he was expecting reports only on Saturday.
He said he would take action against those found responsible for the death and the family’s plight. Red Cross has extended financial assistance to the family, he added.