In a shocking case of apathy, a male and female patient were forced to share a stretcher while being wheeled to the X-Ray room at the Maharaja Yeshwantrao Hospital in Indore, the largest state-run hospital in Madhya Pradesh.
One of the patients was Sangeeta, who had suffered a fracture in her right leg and had been admitted 12 days ago.
"My wife Sangeeta was admitted to orthopedic ward. Citing shortage of stretcher, she was taken for some medical examination with a male patient. We were helpless as we wanted to get our patient treated due to which we became ready to allow her and the male patient on the same bed," her husband, Dharmendra, said.
When asked why there were two patients on one stretcher, Sangeeta said it was the doctor's order. She also admitted that the crowded stretcher is inconvenient.
After a video of the incident went viral, the Hospital's medical superintendent Dr PS Thakur served show cause notice to on-duty staff, including doctors, nurses and ward boys, and promised strict action. Dr Thakur also admitted there was a shortage of stretchers and other facilities.
Sangeeta's husband also claimed that the doctor on the duty demanded they visit him only during a given time, as he would not examine patients after close of business hours.
Madhya Pradesh was one of the poorest-performing big states in a report on medical infrastructure and facilities recently released by the NITI Aayog. The state ranked 18, with only Odisha, Bihar and Uttar Pradesh faring worse.
Last week an attendant at a government medical college in Jabalpur dragged a patient to the X-ray room on a bedsheet.
On June 15, an elderly man spent a whole night inside the mortuary of a government hospital in the town of Bina after being declared dead. When his body was taken out the following day for a post-mortem, he was found to be alive and breathing. He died later the same day.