Anil Kumar Gupta, 59, a resident of Dharamshala Bazar in Uttar Pradesh’s Gorakhpur is not able to forget the nightmare he went through while under treatment at the Covid ward of BRD Medical College, Gorakhpur for 19 days and wants to write to chief minister Yogi Adityanath to draw his attention to the state of affairs at the above mentioned hospital, said Gupta.
“For 19 days, it seemed, I was not in a hospital, but in a virtual hell where patients are tormented. But with God’s blessings and my inner strength, I fought the infection to return home,” said Gupta, who is the president of India-Nepal Friendship Association.
Recounting his days in the ward, he said: “On August 18, I had symptoms of Covid infection – high fever, dry cough and breathlessness. Family members took me to the medical college. After a sample test, staff told me that I have tested positive for SARS- CoV-2. As I was facing problems in breathing, instead of home isolation, I preferred admission to a designated Covid facility.”
“The doctors put me on ventilator support in the ICU, later I was put on an oxygen support system. A nurse came to collect my blood sample. After pricking my finger, she did not even press it with cotton or apply antiseptic lotion and the blood continued to flow on the bed sheet,” he recalled.
“After three days, a doctor told me to get an injection from the open market as it was not available in the hospital. The price of the injection was Rs 41,000. The doctor told me that my health condition was not good and I should take assistance from the ward staff to go to the toilet but when I called for assistance in the night, the doctor on duty started shouting at me,” said Gupta.
Gupta said there was a complete lack of hygiene at the hospital. He recalled that he was forced to use an extremely dirty and unhygienic toilet since there were only 4 portable urine containers to be used among 40 patients. He added that the bed sheet was not changed for a week despite requests and the quality of food served to patients was substandard at best.
Recounting perhaps the most dangerous of the callous act by the medical staff, Gupta said: “The nurse told me that the doctor has prescribed me insulin injections to control diabetes. I told her that I have no history of diabetes and the sugar test was also normal, yet she gave me an insulin injection. For 10 days, I was put on insulin,” added Gupta.
On September 4, the medical staff shifted Gupta to another ward, where the medical officer in-charge asked the nurse why Gupta was given insulin injections and pulled up the staff. “I started praying for my well-being,” said Gupta recalling the traumatic experience.
Gupta said his family finally managed to get him discharged from the hospital after he tested negative for the disease and didn’t let his stay get extended as was being advised by the hospital.“I wish to write a letter to chief minister Yogi Adityanath, drawing his attention towards the mismanagement in the BRD Medical College,” Gupta said.
During his visit to Gorakhpur in August and September, the chief minister had directed the medical college and district administration officers to provide quality health services to patients admitted to Covid facilities. The state government had released funds for the care of patients, supply of quality food, procurement of equipment and life-saving medicines.
“There is a need to check the stock supplied in the medical college stores, senior administrative officers should conduct surprise checks in Covid wards as well as the kitchen running in the hospital,” said Gupta.
HT tried to contact officers of the BRD Medical College for their version, but there was no response.