A father lost his ailing son on his shoulder after he was allegedly turned down at the government-run Lala Lajpat Rai Hospital in this Uttar Pradesh industrial city Kanpur on Monday.
The hospital’s emergency section refused to admit Sunil Kumar’s 12-year-old son, Ansh, neither did the staff provide the father any assistance to carry the boy to a children’s medical centre where he was suggested to go.
The boy died on his father’s shoulder when he was dashing on foot to the children’s hospital, 250 metres away.
Sunil Kumar has alleged that his son Ansh died on his shoulder on Friday, as he tried to get a doctor to see him urgently. The Uttar Pradesh government has ordered two inquiries into allegations that the child was denied timely treatment in this city just 80 km from state capital Lucknow.
"He was in Class 6 and very intelligent. I took him to a local hospital, they asked me to take him to the government hospital," says Mr Kumar, a mechanic. His son had high fever and had been treated at local clinics for two days.
At the emergency ward of the government-run Lala Lajpat Rai Hospital, the biggest in the city, the desperate father waited 30 minutes before he was allegedly told to take the boy to the children's section some 250 metres away. The doctors did not even examine the child, says the father.
Allegedly denied a stretcher, Mr Kumar rushed out on foot, hefting the boy on his shoulder. The heartbreaking spectacle was filmed by a reporter.
At the children's section, he was told that the boy was dead, that he would have survived even moments earlier. "It took me nine minutes....how could he be dead in nine minutes?" the father sobs.
Kumar again bundled his son’s body on his shoulder and walked home. No one helped.
The tragedy highlights, once again, the poor state of health care in large parts of the country.
Uttar Pradesh health minister Ravidas Mehrotra said: "Whoever is guilty will not be spared."
This incident comes merely days after a video showing a tribal man in Odisha, carrying his dead wife on his shoulders, went viral. It was reported that the authorities did not help him and he was compelled to walk 10 km carrying his dead wife.