Unable to afford ambulance services, a man carried the body of his five-month-old child in a bag back home in Kaliaganj area of North Dinajpur district, said Asim Devasharma, who is the father of the deceased child. Devasharma who is a resident of Dangipara village in Mustafanagar Grampanchayat said that he could not pay the exorbitant fees demanded by the ambulance driver.
While talking to the mediapersons, Devasharma on Sunday said, “My child died on Saturday night at North Dinajpur’s North Bengal Medical College and Hospital. I had already spent Rs 16,000 on the treatment and had no money to pay for an ambulance. The ambulance drivers demanded Rs 8,000 to carry out the task. I was shocked” He added, “Seeing no way out, I packed the dead child in a bag and took the bus from medical college back to Kaliaganj.” The incident took place on Saturday when both of his twins fell seriously ill, he stated. They were initially admitted to Kaliaganj State General Hospital but were later referred to Raiganj Medical College Hospital as their condition deteriorated, he further stated. Both his children were taken to the North Bengal Medical College Hospital for further treatment, he said.
As the children’s health continued to deteriorate, Devasharma’s wife returned home with one of the infants on Thursday. Unfortunately, the other child died on Saturday night while undergoing treatment at the hospital. Devasharma boarded a private bus from Bengal’s Siliguri to Raiganj and then took another bus to reach his hometown, Kaliaganj. Upon reaching the Vivekananda intersection in Kaliaganj, Devasharma sought help and arranged for an ambulance. The incident attracted the attention of political leaders. They questioned the ‘Swasthya Sathi scheme’ of the Trinamool Congress and the state of affairs of healthcare in West Bengal. BJP’s Kaliaganj Sahar mandal president Gauranga Das said, “Such incidents are shocking and I condemn such incidents in government hospitals.”
While, Bharatiya Janata Party leader Suvendu Adhikari in a tweet questioned the credibility of Trinamool Congress’ ‘Swasthya Sathi’ scheme. “This is Ashim Debsharma; father of a 5-month-old infant who died in a Medical College in Siliguri. He was being charged Rs. 8,000 to transport the dead body of his child. Unfortunately, he couldn’t pay the money after spending Rs. 16,000 in the past few days during the treatment. So he kept the dead body of the child in a bag & boarded a public bus to return to his home at Mustafanagor Village in Kaliyaganj; Uttar Dinajpur district,” he Tweeted.
This is Ashim Debsharma; father of a 5 month old infant who died in a Medical College in Siliguri.
He was being charged Rs. 8000/- to transport the dead body of his child. Unfortunately after spending Rs. 16,000/- in the past few days during the treatment, he couldn’t pay the… pic.twitter.com/G3migdQww8
— Suvendu Adhikari • শুভেন্দু অধিকারী (@SuvenduWB) May 14, 2023
Adhikari further in his tweet wrote that this is unfortunately the true portrayal of the “Egiye Bangla” model. “Let’s not get into technicalities, but is this what “Swasthya Sathi” has achieved? This is unfortunately the true portrayal of the “Egiye Bangla” model,” read the tweet. (ANI)