Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Keonjhar/Telkoi, May 10:
Hardly has the brouhaha died down on the launching of ‘Niramaya’ to provide free medicines to patients in all government hospitals in the state on May 1, Bhadra Dehury (58) of Malhar Sahi in Khuntapada panchayat under Telkoi block in Odisha’s mineral rich Keonjhar district finally breathed his last on Saturday afternoon after being denied of medical treatment.
Bhadra’s death has punctured Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik’s claims at the launching of Niramaya that it will be a bold step of the state government which is committed to provide quality health care. The incident has exposed the gap between announcements and implementation of various schemes as well as the indifference of sarkari babus/doctors et al.
Bhadra belonging to the nomadic Malhar community had visited the district headquarters hospital at Keonjhar hoping that he would get well soon after undergoing treatment.
Little did Bhadra and his wife Janhi know that unless one has money to offer as bribes or has the money to buy medicines that he/she will be provided with treatment at the district headquarters hospital.
After not being attended to/treated at the hospital even after two days of their visit, Janhi decided to take her husband back to their village, Malhar Sahi, where Bhadra breathed his last under a tree in the afternoon on Saturday.
Bhadra died the next day leading Odia daily Sambad carried a report on his battle with life.
Belonging to the rare Malhar tribe, Bhadra while going to the forest on Tuesday last to collect jhuna (resin) fell unconscious near Kamalanga village due to scorching heat. His family members with the help of locals first took him to the government hospital at Telkoi, later he was shifted to the district headquarters hospital at Keonjhar by a 108 ambulance.
However, he was not provided with treatment there since he didn’t have money to buy medicines nor did he have documents to avail free treatment.
After observing her husband’s condition under the circumstances, Janhi decided to take him back to their village instead of keeping him in the hospital without treatment. Bhadra was left to battle with death at his hut.
While attempts were made over phone to contact chief district medical officer Kabi Prasad Sahu on Bhadra’s plight before his tragic death, Sahu did not pick up the phone. Later ADMO B K Behera was contacted and apprised of Bhadra’s condition; however no expeditiousness was shown for his treatment or save him.
Lastly, Bhadra lost his battle for life in the afternoon on Saturday.